Disability Resource Center

Peer Mentor Program

The transition from high school to college is a major turning point in life.  There are many changes to which students must adjust including independence, self-advocacy, and personal responsibility. Most importantly, students are transitioning from childhood to adulthood. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) recognizes the challenges inherent to this transition, and the importance of guidance during this phase of life. As such, we offer the Turning Point peer mentor program.

Peer mentors offer students practical advice about the concerns they face. With their mentees, peer mentors address many issues: best approaches in working with faculty members, study skills, time management, and staying organized. Peer mentors also offer a social connection. Students can come into the DRC office, located in 143 Memorial Hall, and speak confidentially with any of the mentors at any time.

Says one of our seasoned peer mentors, "In the last two years, I have gone to the activities fair with my freshmen, we've had lunch, and we've met in the library to study. I've worked with students on organizational, study, and stress relief skills; all of those skills are critical to a student's success here. I have also shown my students how to use their accommodations, because the first semester away from home can be overwhelming. I love what I do."

From our mentees, "I got accepted into the mortar board senior honors society, all thanks to you for helping me." "I got an A in my class because of everything you have taught me and all the time we spent together." "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be this involved." These are just some of the testimonials we've heard from students who have engaged the Turning Point Peer Mentoring Program.

Those interested in connecting with a peer mentor can contact Gretchen Steil Weiss, DRC Learning Specialist, at ge-steil@wiu.edu.

Our Peer Mentors

Lawrence Walls

Name: Lawrence Walls
Year: Sophomore
Major: Law Enforcement
Minor: Religious Studies
Outside Interests (Extracurricular): Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at Western Illinois University, & The Centennial Honors College.
Outside Interests: In my spare time I enjoy jogging, listening to music, watching old movies, and hanging out with friends.

tyler

My name is Tyler, and I'm in the general experimental psychology graduate program. My current areas of interest are sexual abuse, drug abuse, and mental health. I like writing and listening to music, and I play drums in a hardcore punk band. I collect records, and I'm also interested in film.