Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center

Ujima Mentoring Program

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About the Program

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 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 award. Only students in the Federal Work-Study Program are eligible. Review your financial aid letter or contact Enrollment Services (RaiderConnect) at 937-775-4410 to find out if you qualify.

The Ujima Mentoring Program is for first-year African American students who would like to improve their chances of academic success. You will work at an on-campus job with your supervisor serving as your mentor. This program starts with an early arrival session before the official Move-In Day on campus where you are matched with your mentor. During the academic year, you will meet twice a month and work on skills to cultivate leadership, build a community, and have fun through social and academic programs put on by Ujima staff.

Program Goals

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 acquire a campus job complete with a supervisor who will serve a mentor. Mentors are diverse, work makes sense, and you will feel connected to a community that values your success as a student and person.

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." —African proverb


The Ujima Mentoring Program was created to strengthen the academic, social, and cultural experiences of first-year African American students and to help them transition to campus life.

By participating, you will:

  • Receive personalized attention from a mentor who will provide valuable advice and guidance to you throughout your first year.
  • Be awarded a work-study job in your mentor’s assigned work area.
  • Receive individualized academic support throughout the first year.
  • Develop important social connections.

You are expected to:

  • Commit to a one-year mentorship and employment experience. You will work up to 10 hours per week in an assigned location and must meet with your mentor regularly.
  • Meet with the program coordinator once a semester.
  • Attend a minimum of two activities per month that are sponsored by the Ujima Mentoring Program.

There are a limited amount of spots available for the program. If you are interested in participating, complete the application form. Questions can be directed to the Program Coordinator Yemi Mahoney at (937) 775-5601.


The responsibility of a faculty or staff mentor is to assist the center in its continuous efforts to positively impact black and African American first-year students who enroll and graduate from Wright State University. You will fulfill tasks that will support the educational, career, financial, moral, personal, social, and spiritual development of your mentee.

The Ujima Mentoring Program provides a unique opportunity for you to serve as both a mentor and Work-Study supervisor. Your assigned student will be required to work in your office or department 8–10 hours per week.

A good mentor:

  • Is accessible.
  • Engages students in conversation.
  • Listens.
  • Educates.
  • Provides constructive and supportive feedback.
  • Provides encouragement.
  • Fosters networks and multiple mentors.
  • Looks out for students’ interests.
  • Thinks about students’ mentoring needs.
  • Treats students with respect.
  • CARES.

Mentor Benefits

You will:

  • Make a positive impact on an individual’s life.
  • Show new students that they are valued members of the university community.
  • Make new students aware of campus resources.
  • Help new students avoid common academic, social, and personal pitfalls.
  • Develop a true sense of giving back to the community.

Mentor Responsibilities

You will:

  • Commit to serve as a mentor for one academic calendar year.
  • Communicate with your mentee on a consistent basis.
  • Be persistent in establishing a relationship with your mentee.
  • Engage students for 8–10 hours a week through a Work-Study position.
  • Attend a brief orientation meeting with the program coordinator.
  • Complete monthly online progress reports.
  • Maintain confidentiality whenever appropriate.
  • Inform the coordinator of concerns impeding the development of the relationship and/or success of the student.

Bolinga Black Cultural Resource Center Responsibilities:

We will:

  • Provide funding to pay for the Ujima students’ Work-Study wages. The student will be working at no cost to your office/department.
  • Identify mentees who meet the qualifications of our program and match them with a suitable mentor.
  • Provide ongoing study tables and educational workshops. These sessions will be open to the mentor as well.
  • Provide support to foster a strong relationship between the mentor and mentee.

If you are interested in helping a first-year student thrive, complete the mentor information form. Questions can be directed to Yemi Mahoney at (937) 775-5601 or