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CONECT Peer Mentoring Program

C.O.N.E.C.T. (Caring Of New student Experiencing College Transition was created in 1998 by Dr. Tomarra Adams.  The program was created because of the following: 

  • Research shows that minority students often experience feelings of alienation and loneliness while at predominately white institutions
  • The demands of the college environment is often difficult for new students as they are faced with new social and academic challenges
  • Research also shows Black students do not look to White faculty and staff as role models for their leadership; having a peer mentor proves to be an effective connection for freshmen

CONECT Mentors are paired at the beginning of the year with approximately 18-25 freshmen.  Providing continuous support to African American students is one of the most important factors to inspiring students to persist here at the University of Louisville. This support is what the CONECT Mentoring Program was founded upon and continues to provide. The CONECT Peer Mentor Program addresses the issue of retention through monthly social programs, educational workshops, individual mentoring, and consistent communication with freshman students. Our students learn about campus and community resources that will directly impact and improve their experience at the University. With the goal of encouraging students to excel academically and receive recognition from their peers and family members, CONECT offers the annual African American Recognition Reception.
The reception acknowledges Black Recognized Student Organizations and faculty for their outstanding achievements and service. Each year approximately 500 Black students and faculty members are invited to attend this event. Last year we had over 250 students, staff and faculty in attendance. The program recognizes those students who have maintained a cumulative 3.0 GPA as well as those that plan to graduate in the current academic year. This is the only ceremony that formally recognizes African American students for their academic excellence, and from personal experience, is one of the essential motivators needed to excel while at the University of Louisville. This event includes food, awards, a keynote speaker and a band, all supplied to give back to our students for their hard work and contribution to the university. 




"The Caring of New Students Experiencing College Transition organization has been extremely impactful for both mentors and mentees. This year, I have the opportunity to mentor 29 freshman students. Of the 29, I’ve formed several meaningful relationships. My mentees do not hesitate to reach out to me about academic or personal matters. And, I do not hesitate to rely on my own freshman experience and lessons learned to best advise them. This academic year has been different than any other because of the global pandemic. The class of 2024 was met with questions that no one could answer and with a freshman experience different than those that came before them. This year my fellow mentors and I have been intentional about being available to our mentees to ensure their success and happiness at UofL. Despite the many lifestyles changes that have been made, most of the freshmen I’ve encountered have been able to be social and do well in their classes. CONECT has been crucial to the amplifying of black voices on campus. In the past we’ve hosted events that are centered around blackness and allow students a space to hold conversations. Some of those conversations stay in those spaces, and others extend out into campus and the community. Not only is CONECT impactful for the mentees, but it is also impactful for the mentors. I am a second-year mentor with a lot of experiences with CONECT. Being a mentor adds value to my life. My mentees make me a better communicator, a better listener, and a better person overall. I am grateful for this organization and can attest to its impact on black freshmen students and black students at large." 

Trinity Gillespie, CONECT Mentor


"The CONECT program has helped me out in so many ways. Whether it was finding the right place to study or just having someone to talk to my mentor was right there for me every step of the way. Thanks to my mentor, Daphne Woolridge, my adjustment to college was a breeze. Her effort and dedication to her mentees inspired me to become a CONECT mentor my ownself. It’s something about having an experienced student who has been in your shoes that makes the stressful environment of college a lot easier to adjust to. I encourage everyone to lean on their peers and mentors for support regardless of the struggle we are here for you!!!" -Noah Gray, Current CONECT mentor/former mentee


"Coming to a PWI as a Black male is not an experience that is easy to navigate. Finding other students who look like you and are dedicated to furthering their education was not something that came easily either. When coming to campus I was assigned a C.O.N.E.C.T. mentor, which immediately gave me a sigh of relief. My mentor was also a Black Male who guided me through this new experience, checked in on me, supported and motivated me to keep pushing through my courses, even at my toughest moments in the semester. I was truly grateful to have my mentor and his impact influenced me to become a mentor myself. I wanted to be a resource to incoming Black Students experiencing their first year at a PWI. I sought to make sure that they had a positive role model, were supported by someone that looks like them, know that they are loved and cared for here on this campus and finally that they felt like they belonged here at the University of Louisville." -Merise Mwambayi

Early Bird Challenge
The early bird gets the worm, right? The area with the largest number of donors between 6:02 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19, will receive an extra $500. Don't wait, participate!
Rank Prize Area Donors
1 $500 College of Arts & Sciences 95
2 School of Medicine 60
3 UofL Alumni Councils 53
4 RaiseRED Dance Marathon 36
5 Resilient Families Project 34
6 Student Affairs 20
7 Cultural Center 20
8 College of Business 16
9 Speed School of Engineering 13
10 School of Nursing 13
11 UofL Health 12
12 College of Education & Human Development 11
13 MLK Scholars Program 11
14 UofL Alumni Chapters 11
15 Brown Cancer Center 10
16 Miracle Monocle 9
17 School of Public Health & Information Sciences 8
18 McConnell Center 7
19 LGBT Center 6
20 Kent School of Social Work 5
21 Young and Emerging Professionals ERG 5
22 Brandeis School of Law 4
23 School of Dentistry 4
24 School of Music 4
25 Black Faculty & Staff Association 4
26 Malcolm X Debate Team 3
27 International Center 3
28 Sustainability Initiatives 3
29 Student Experience & Scholarships 2
30 Diversity & Equity Centers 2
31 Graduate School 2
32 University Honors Program 2
33 Student Success Center 2
34 Athletics 2
35 REACH - Resources for Academic Achievement 1
36 UofL Libraries 1
37 Diversity Education 1
38 Gray Street Farmers Market 1
39 Diversity Initiatives 1
40 Study Abroad 1
41 Centers & Institutes 0
42 Campus Initiatives 0
43 Faculty & Staff Programs 0
44 Employee Resource Groups 0
45 Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research 0
46 COVID-19 Research 0
47 COVID-19 Support 0
48 Denny Crum Scholarship 0
49 More Scholarships 0
50 Muhammad Ali Institute 0
51 Rauch Planetarium 0
52 Speed School AMIST Lab COVID-19 Projects 0
53 Staff Assistance Fund 0
54 Survivors of Torture Recovery Center 0
55 Urban & Public Affairs Scholarships 0
56 Women's Center 0
Power Hour Challenge
Power up during the day! The area with the most unique donors from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern on October 20 will receive an additional $500 to their area.
Rank Prize Power Hour Challenge Donors
1 $500 RaiseRED Dance Marathon 29
2 College of Arts & Sciences 21
3 School of Medicine 10
4 School of Dentistry 8
5 College of Business 7
6 Cultural Center 7
7 College of Education & Human Development 5
8 UofL Health 4
9 MLK Scholars Program 4
10 Student Experience & Scholarships 3
11 Resilient Families Project 3
12 Graduate School 3
13 School of Music 3
14 Student Emergency Fund 3
15 Brown Cancer Center 2
16 Student Affairs 2
17 UofL Alumni Councils 2
18 LGBT Center 2
19 Miracle Monocle 2
20 Black Faculty & Staff Association 2
21 School of Public Health & Information Sciences 1
22 Muhammad Ali Institute 1
23 Brandeis School of Law 1
24 Kent School of Social Work 1
25 Malcolm X Debate Team 1
26 Sustainability Initiatives 1
27 UofL Alumni Chapters 1
28 School of Nursing 1
29 UofL Libraries 1
30 Diversity & Equity Centers 0
31 Campus Initiatives 0
32 Faculty & Staff Programs 0
33 Athletics 0
34 Centers & Institutes 0
35 Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research 0
36 COVID-19 Research 0
37 COVID-19 Support 0
38 Denny Crum Scholarship 0
39 Diversity Education 0
40 Diversity Initiatives 0
41 Employee Resource Groups 0
42 Gray Street Farmers Market 0
43 International Center 0
44 McConnell Center 0
45 More Scholarships 0
46 Rauch Planetarium 0
47 REACH - Resources for Academic Achievement 0
48 Speed School AMIST Lab COVID-19 Projects 0
49 Speed School of Engineering 0
50 Staff Assistance Fund 0
51 Study Abroad 0
52 Survivors of Torture Recovery Center 0
53 University Honors Program 0
54 Urban & Public Affairs Scholarships 0
55 Women's Center 0
56 Young and Emerging Professionals ERG 0
College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Challenge
Dean David Owen is committing a personal gift of $500 in support of the persistence fund if alumni, faculty, staff, and friends recruit at least 200 individual gifts to one of the College of Arts & Sciences’ funds on the Day of Giving.
200 / 200 Donors
Overall Leaderboard
The area of campus with the greatest number of donors will receive $2,500 in additional funding! Second place will receive $2,000, third will receive $1,500, fourth will receive $1,000, and fifth will receive $500. Make your gift. Increase your impact. Raise Some L.
Rank Prize Area Donors
1 $2,500 RaiseRED Dance Marathon 484
2 $2,000 College of Arts & Sciences 459
3 $1,500 School of Medicine 245
4 $1,000 UofL Alumni Councils 154
5 $500 Cultural Center 145
6 Resilient Families Project 123
7 MLK Scholars Program 121
8 College of Business 87
9 Brown Cancer Center 76
10 LGBT Center 76
11 UofL Health 73
12 Student Emergency Fund 62
13 School of Nursing 61
14 College of Education & Human Development 61
15 Speed School of Engineering 60
16 School of Music 40
17 Kent School of Social Work 37
18 UofL Alumni Chapters 34
19 School of Public Health & Information Sciences 31
20 School of Dentistry 29
21 Miracle Monocle 29
22 UofL Libraries 24
23 Student Affairs 23
24 Brandeis School of Law 22
25 Student Success Center 22
26 McConnell Center 21
27 Black Faculty & Staff Association 20
28 Student Experience & Scholarships 19
29 Graduate School 18
30 Young and Emerging Professionals ERG 17
31 Athletics 15
32 International Center 10
33 Sustainability Initiatives 9
34 Fraternity & Sorority Life 8
35 REACH - Resources for Academic Achievement 8
36 Diversity & Equity Centers 7
37 Muhammad Ali Institute 6
38 Staff Assistance Fund 5
39 The Women’s Network 5
40 University Honors Program 4
41 Women's Center 4
42 More Scholarships 4
43 Urban & Public Affairs Scholarships 3
44 Gray Street Farmers Market 3
45 Diversity Initiatives 2
46 Denny Crum Scholarship 2
47 Faculty & Staff Programs 1
48 Diversity Education 1
49 Speed School AMIST Lab COVID-19 Projects 1
50 Study Abroad 1
51 Survivors of Torture Recovery Center 1
52 Centers & Institutes 0
53 Campus Initiatives 0
54 Employee Resource Groups 0
55 COVID-19 Support 0
56 Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research 0
57 COVID-19 Research 0
58 Rauch Planetarium 0
1,798th Donor Challenge
In honor of UofL's founding year, the 1,798th donor during Raise Some L will receive an additional $500 to the area they supported! *Please note there will only be 1 winner in this challenge and the official winner will be notified after Raise Some L. Congratulations to Bryan Ganious for being our 1798th donor!!! We'll be in touch soon and way to go!
1,798 / 1,798 Donors
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