By Saskia Leo Cipriani, CLAC Assistant Director
The Latino Alumni Association of Rutgers University (LAARU) was established in 2009 as the first alumni chartered organization under the Rutgers University Alumni Association (RUAA) umbrella to serve the Latino alumni community at Rutgers, New Brunswick, Camden and Newark campuses and beyond. In 2010, LAARU established its mentoring program and was recognized with the Ernest E. McMahon award for program excellence and alumni leadership.
Alumni felt there was a need to mentor and assist undergraduate students in their academic and professional pursuits. Discussions took place at LAARU monthly board meetings for an entire year to set guidelines, rules and regulations before fully implementing the program. In addition, LAARU decided to compliment the program with a Fall recruitment event called “Mentor and Mentee Gathering” followed by a Spring social called “LAARU Meet and Greet” to help bring undergraduates and alumni together on an ongoing basis and help strengthen the program as well as increase its visibility.
Mentors and Mentees agree to pair up for a year and communicate at least once a month in person, via email or by phone (mode of communication is set by the mentor and mentee). Since its inception we have recruited over 50 alumni mentors and undergraduate mentees. The incentive is strong as we have alumni professionals serving as mentors from across the United States in a wide range of industries thus giving students the opportunity to open up their scope and reach alumni regardless of where they are located.
LAARU attracts a wide array of alumni with strong connections in major private corporations and public organizations in the tri-state area that enjoy giving back to their alma-mater by helping students achieve and realize their greatest dreams.
For more information on how to get involved with LAARU’s Mentoring Program please contact a member of LAARU’s eboard via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.