Hey there! We are the PEER Mentoring Program, established in 2003 under the Pan-Asian American Community House (PAACH). The program helps first year Asian and Pacific-Islander (API) students - including students who identify as South Asian, Southeast Asian, LGBTQIA+, first-generation, low-income - adjust to college life, specifically life at the University of Pennsylvania.
Over the course of the year, mentees collaborate and develop a service project in which they work towards improving a specific community issue. This year, we are looking forward to work with local organizations creating changes in the API community in Philadelphia. PEER hopes that the program will help future campus leaders develop a greater awareness of API topics and promote community-wide action to create a better environment for Asian Pacific Americans.
PEER puts a high emphasis on developing a community dynamic -- mentors and mentees are encouraged to bond with every member in the program. The social scene at Penn can be intimidating, but as a PEER mentee, first-year students have a group of supportive friends with whom they can attend Penn events and share experiences. Often, the friendships developed through PEER last well beyond college. We also organize many social events in order to maintain the community dynamic.
We recruit mentors who are established leaders on campus to help guide mentees, holding leadership positions including Asian Pacific Student Coalition, Penn Association for Gender Equity, Penn Taiwanese Society, Penn Atma, Student Financial Credit Union, Phi Gamma Nu, Phi Kappa Psi, Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, and more. In addition to providing leadership training through our mentor community, PEER also hosts a series of leadership workshops throughout the school year.