Symbolized by conjoined shovels, Ujima, is one of the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba that emphasizes collective work and responsibility. This is a unique work mentoring concept that includes meaningful labor, sustainable mentoring relationships and ongoing intellectual and cultural development. This innovative employer mentoring program supports first year students who are direct from high school and are qualified for and accept their federal work-study allotment at WSU. The goals of this program are twofold.

First, we want to empower potential mentors across campus to share in the university’s goal to actively support the success and graduation of every student. Next, we want to increase the likelihood of success for enrolled students by helping them to acquire a campus job complete with a supervisor who will serve a mentor.

It is one of the first programs that utilizes the idea of “collective work and responsibility” in the planning, delivery and evaluation of a “work mentoring” program for higher education. Mentors are diverse, work makes sense, and students feel connected to a community that values their success as much as they do.