Peer Mentor Program

Overview

The LGBTQ+ Peer Mentor Program provides a space for students to connect with a knowledgeable peer about gender identity, sexual orientation, coming out, and life at UW-Madison.

How to sign up

If you are an interested UW-Madison student, please fill out the form below. It will let you choose whether you are signing up to be a mentor or a mentee:

LGBTQ+ Peer Mentor Program sign-up form

Questions? Please contact the program coordinators below or drop by the GSCC during Sami’s mentor program office hours:

  • Mondays, 1-2:00pm
  • Wednesdays, 3-4:00pm

Training

When mentees sign up for the program, they receive confirmation by email that their application has been received, along with materials to get acquainted with the program, its goals, and our expectations. There is no formal mentee training. Mentees are invited to social events throughout the year, and are welcome to meet with Campus Center staff at any time.

When mentors sign up for the program, they receive a resource packet with information on mentoring 101, communication styles, using personal stories for social change, LGBTQ+ language and terms, campus resources, and relationships and violence, along with access to our digital resource database. 

They can then come in during the designated program office hours for an in-person orientation, after which they can be paired a mentee based on their interests and experiences.

FAQ

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How soon will I be paired with a mentor/mentee?

Our aim is to pair new participants with a mentor/mentee as quickly as possible, although the exact timing may vary. On average, participants are introduced to their mentor/mentee within a week of signing up for the program.

If you need immediate or emergency assistance, contact us directly or go to Support.

Who is qualified to be a mentor?

Potentially any UW-Madison student! No formal mentorship or leadership training required. This program focuses on the experience and voice you already bring by virtue of being yourself.

How often should mentors and mentees meet?

The mentorship program is designed for maximum flexibility: once a mentor and mentee are paired, they decide based on their needs how to communicate, how often and where to meet, and other such factors. Some pairs are Facebook chat friends only, others meet for lunch or go to events together. It’s up to you!

How long does a mentor/mentee partnership last?

It’s up to the individual participants and their needs. Some mentors and mentees work together for several years, some for just a few weeks.

Your formal commitment to the pairing ends at the end of each academic year, when you will be invited to either continue or be matched with another mentor/mentee.

What if things aren't working out with my mentor/mentee?

No worries, it happens. If for any reason participants need a change, they can contact the coordinators by email and request to be paired with a different mentor/mentee or to leave the program, simple as that.

Participant thoughts

I’m still in contact with my mentor! It made a big difference to me to be connected

Mentor thoughts

I enjoyed getting to know my mentee and watching them prosper here at UW

Docs & resources

LGBTQ+ Peer Mentor Program coordinators

Sami Estrada

Student Staff for Leadership

sestrada3@wisc.edu

M.Rose Sweetnam

Event and Accessibility Coordinator

msweetnam@wisc.edu