The Young Alumni Board is giving back to the Moore School by mentoring the Rising Scholars students for their annual service project. The partnership between alumni and the program’s underrepresented students allows students to see what some of the possibilities are for them after they graduate, said Danielle Gleaton (’06 international business, management science), chair of the Young Alumni Board.
As part of the program, which is entering its third year in 2020-2021, students attend a tailored session of the University 101 first-year experience course, network with successful alumni, are paired with faculty and peer mentors, benefit from personal finance education and obtain BB&T emerging leadership certificates. The freshmen live on Rising Scholars-specific residence hall floors in South Tower. All Rising Scholars have access to peer tutors and ad hoc academic resources, and students with financial need receive a renewable scholarship each academic year.
The Young Alumni Board mentoring the Rising Scholars is “important for students so they can figure out what are the career opportunities, how can they navigate what career they’re going into,” Gleaton said. “They can ask someone who had been a student — what was their thought process, how did they decide on their career, what are the next steps after the Moore School, what are those soft skills to build on, how did they network with people to advance their career and build lasting professional connections.”
The board members chose the Rising Scholars program as their annual signature project because it is a program that needs support from alumni, and it’s a way to give back to the Moore School and have the biggest impact, Gleaton said.
“Having the support of the greater Moore School community shows our Rising Scholars students how valued they truly are,” said Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Deborah Hazzard. “When our alumni want to give back to our students, it shows that the Moore School family relationship and commitment extends beyond graduation. Moreover, it sets a precedence for our Rising Scholars to do reach back and help after they graduate.”
The board members were paired with the Rising Scholars students in March just ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the mentors are virtually engaging with their students. They intend to continue the mentoring relationships until at least the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.
From Greer, South Carolina, Kiara Fleming plans to major in business management with a finance cognate; part of the first class of Rising Scholars, she will be a junior in 2020-2021. Fleming said she is excited to be paired with a Young Alumni Board member.
“I hope to gain more knowledge about different opportunities within the finance industry as well as a broader network by having a Young Alumni Board member as my mentor,” she said. “I hope this experience will give me more exposure into the business world as a whole.”
The mentoring is also important for the alumni, Gleaton said, because “mentoring is a two-way street; it allows mentors to have an avenue to continue to be engaged with the Moore School and hear the voice of the students, to stay plugged in where those given needs are and how best to advocate for those needs.”
In addition to their annual signature project, the Young Alumni Board members serve on the host committees for the Network with Moore events and on the host committee for the annual Shuck & Shag alumni social event. They are also ambassadors for Give for Garnet, the university’s annual fundraising campaign.