ACE program helps through mentoring

The ACE program awards scholarships to Caprock and Palo Duro high school graduates who maintain a B or better average throughout their high school careers.

Trena Rider, the Amarillo College mentoring program coordinator, assists the “coaches,” or AC faculty members and ACE program participants, by teaming them up and ensuring that they work together.

Because college is a new environment compared to the high school experience, the No Excuses College mentoring program acts as a safety net for new college enrollees. Any question about the campuses, clubs and even studying techniques can and will be answered.

“As a coach myself, I believe the No Excuses College mentoring program is a valuable component to the overall success of our students,” Rider said.

“I have been paired with three students in the past two years. They each have increased my own awareness of the issues college students face today.”

“The ACE mentoring program is an opportunity for high school students to have a chance to go to college,” said Tyler Arbuckle, a nursing major. “The ACE program has (widened) my horizon for my future career.”

“With the growth and development of our program, we will continue to connect our students to campus resources while building relationships between students and staff,” Rider said.

Sharon Doggett, a two-year No Excuses mentoring program participant, said it is a coach’s responsibility to ensure that his or her student knows what services Amarillo College offers as well as to give a tour of the campus and to help facilitate financial aid.

Doggett also had a learning experience with one of her recent “champions,” a student she is helping.

Doggett had to help her student find the right adviser to talk to about changing her course section. Even coaches learn new ways to help their student participants in different ways.

Rider said it is the coach’s responsibility to contact the student throughout the month to make sure the student’s questions are answered. With the new and expanding mentoring program, job shadowing is a new experience offered for participants. Coaches can use their connections to help students connect to other opportunities in their future as well as career development and resume building.

Participants or “champions” do not have to check in every day of the semester but on an as-needed basis. Teachers, administrators and any other coaches can call, text or make appointments with the students as well as vice versa. Hospitality is a key element to the No Excuses mentoring program’s success and operation.

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