CJY Peer Mentor: Eunis Lukose
According to Governors State University junior Eunis Lukose, when you come into the GSU Center for Junior Year (CJY) you know you are going to get an answer. She would know, she's a peer mentor who helps clients find solutions.
“The internet is straightforward, but you can’t ask a computer, ‘Where do I go from here?’ It can’t expand things for you and break it down. It takes another person to give you the clarification you need,'' said Lukose, who has been a peer mentor for a year and seen firsthand one of the top reasons the CJY is invaluable for students at GSU.
Even an age gap isn’t necessarily a problem, Lukose said. “Some of the older population students don’t always understand how to use the technology. I helped one woman, a nurse, who’d never taken an online class before, and she had a lot of questions. I told her, ‘I’m taking an online class for the first time, too. Let’s figure this out together.’ There were enough similarities between the way each one was set up that I was able to help her, and she was really grateful,” she said.
Lukose has realized that she is enamored with learning, which makes peer mentoring fun and satisfying. “I love to learn something new, then pass it along to others so they can use it later,” she said.
Getting to know GSU, from courses to campus policy to familiar faces, is one of the benefits of working as a peer mentor, she said. “You get to know all about the college itself, all the resources—even the small ones,” she said. “And I love seeking out new connections and networking.”
Of course being able to come through for others who are struggling is the ultimate satisfaction. Many times, students approach with an academic issue, like low test scores. Through both training and experience on the job, mentors know the need probably goes beyond that. But they are kind in their approach.
“I’ll start by asking a question like, ‘What’s going on in class?’ just to get them warmed up,” Lukose said. “Then I’ll lay out some options and say, ‘What does it feel like you need? Tell me so I can figure out where to go from there.’ “
When it turns out the student needs to get help from another office at GSU, Lukose will make the walk, too. “When you’ve been searching for something forever, it’s good to have someone say, ‘Let me help you,’ instead of just giving you directions.
“Then you’re a familiar face on campus.”
Center for Junior Year
An innovative center designed to break down barriers to academic success, the Center for Junior Year (CJY) at Governors State University supports students into their major, to their degree and beyond. “We work with other offices that help students, referring them to the resources they need to succeed,” said Professor David Rhea, Director of the CJY. Help comes from peer mentors — students trained to find answers to questions about careers, academics, finances, even personal challenges in life. Working one-on-one is an approach that makes the difference, Rhea said. “It’s about connectedness.”