First-generation college students at Mays Business School like management senior Myroslaba Martinez know firsthand the challenge of transitioning to college life without the experience of relatives to guide them. She admits it was sometimes a bewildering and lonely process. But there is one thing she said made the transition a little easier: like-minded peers.
This semester Martinez and more than 20 other Mays students have launched PRO (Peer Outreach and Recruitment) Team, a volunteer organization to connect high school seniors and younger Mays students from underrepresented populations with older mentors. PRO Team assists with on-campus and off-campus recruiting events in Aggieland and statewide, including Aggieland Saturday, Aggie Rallies, Mays for a Day campus trips, student dinners and tours of the Wehner building. Many of the student recruiters are first-generation college students themselves.
Martinez and management information systems sophomore Kenyatta Brisco serve as PRO Team’s undergraduate leaders, overseeing the week-to-week operations. Mays’ full-time undergraduate recruiters and advisors Corey Stone and Ana Davila advise the team.
Stone saw a need for a team like this a few years ago when he began his career at Mays. “The advantage of PRO Team is that it is highly personalized recruiting,” Stone said, adding he hopes the team makes the path easier for incoming students. “We want to educate first-generation college students and their families about the tremendous opportunities for them at Texas A&M and Mays Business School.”
The inspiration for the team came from Martinez and her peers’ own experience of finding mutual support in learning communities like the Regents’ Ambassador Program. “In our classes and other activities, we pushed each other and helped each other succeed,” Martinez said. “Now we want to give opportunities to students that we didn’t have as freshmen. We’re passionate about Mays and feel fortunate to be here. We hope to help other students because we’ve been in their shoes.”