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Affinity-Based & Peer Mentorship Programs Under Multicultural Student Leadership and Empowerment

Peer Mentorship Programs

B.O.S.S. (Building Ourselves through Sisterhood and Service 

B.O.S.S. (Building Ourselves through Sisterhood and Service)

B.O.S.S. aims to foster healthy and genuine relationships between upperclassmen and underclassmen women of color, promote positive social interactions within the community of women on campus, encourage high academic and personal standards, provide access to helpful campus resources, and inspire community involvement and commitment to service.

S.W.A.G. (Scholars Working Ambitiously to Graduate) 

Scholars Working Ambitiously to Graduate (S.W.A.G.)

Scholars Working Ambitiously to Graduate (S.W.A.G) is a male student-run mentorship that focuses on increasing the graduation and retention of male-identified students of color on Cornell's campus. S.W.A.G. strives to strengthen the black male community by fostering a collaborative and supportive environment, consequently promoting the highest levels of educational attainment for black males on campus.

For information on how to support B.O.S.S. or S.W.A.G.'s programming or initiatives, please contact Patricia Gonzalez, Assistant Director for Multicultural Student Leadership and Empowerment at

Kessler Scholars Mentoring Program (KSMP)

What is the Kessler Presidential Scholars Program?

The Irene and Morris B. Kessler Presidential Scholars Program will be offered to admit first-generation students who fall within Cornell’s defined low-income population. The program will provide a rare opportunity for 20 academically talented and community engaged first-generation students to benefit from personal, comprehensive academic support, as well as substantial financial aid throughout their four-year undergraduate career. At full growth, the Kessler Scholars Program will support approximately 80 students/year, selected from all seven undergraduate colleges at Cornell. The program will provide these students with unique and meaningful experiences that will foster a lifelong bond among them.

"My Kessler mentor was the best emotional support system. At the beginning of my semester I wasn’t comfortable speaking with many of my friends about the difficulties of college and my mentor was always there to help me. She gave me great advice on academics and how excel at Cornell." Olivia Gurfinkiel, 2023 Kessler Presidential Scholar

Read more about the Kessler Presidential Scholars Program and meet the current Kessler Scholars and mentors.

What is the Kessler Presidential Scholars Mentoring Program (KSMP)?

The Kessler Presidential Scholars Mentoring Program (KSMP) seeks to empower first-year students to succeed academically, socially, personally, and professionally. Through mentorship with upper-level students, first-year scholars are connected with resources and experiences that will help them transition and thrive at the Cornell University. By building these peer relationships within the Kessler Scholars Mentoring Program, the first-year scholars will develop a stronger sense of community within the University that will serve as a foundation on which they will build their collegiate careers.

  • Must identify as first generation.
  • Open to all majors.
  • Knowledgeable and or identify with the low-income student experience.


No prior mentoring experience required, however, the ideal candidate must be open to learning how to effectively mentor students and also identify as a positive role model within and outside the Cornell University Community.

In addition, the ideal candidate will be someone who have the following characteristics; personable, flexible, open to engaging with other students, and has the ability to form authentic relationships with students.

Knowledge of

Cornell University resources, low-income student and/or knowledgeable about the low-income students experience, opportunities on and/or off campus, and some knowledge about mentoring.

Ability to

Communicate effectively in oral and written form, flexibility, understanding of first-generation and low-income experience, knowledgeable about campus resources, and able to speak on the Cornell University student’s experience.

Essential Functions and Job Duties

  • Mentors are assigned to four mentees whom they will get to interact with throughout the academic year (fall 2019 - spring 2020).
  • Throughout the upcoming academic year (fall 2019 - spring 2020), mentors are expected to meet with their mentees bi-weekly for an hour; efforts to build stronger relationships and to better support their mentees’ individual needs.
  • Must be available to meet during the week of August 19-26, 2019.
  • Attend monthly team meetings and workshops that will equip mentors with tools and resources that will help them be successful mentors.
  • All mentors are expected to meet individually once a month with KSMP Adviser for staff individual check-ins.
  • Must be flexible to meet in informal gatherings, which may include things such as dinner, bowling, outdoor events, and more.
  • Must attend Kessler Scholars orientation and the winter retreat (dates to be determined).
  • Other duties as assigned.

Terms of Employment

This position pays $11.10/hr and requires work up to 5-10 hours a month. Specific hours will be determined by the mentor and mentee and in accordance to all other mentor requirements. This position is a one-year non-renewable commitment (fall 2019 to spring 2020).

For more information, please contact Patricia Gonzalez, Assistant Director Student Development Diversity Initiatives via email:, phone: (607) 254-2255, and/or stop by at 626 Thurston Ave. RM # G08.