At PeerForward, helping our peer leaders create meaningful connections and relationships with others plays a pivotal role in the success of our program.
Arriving at a college campus can cause culture shock. Being away from family, friends, and one’s hometown is difficult for many. Building a support system is critical in giving students a sense of belonging. Through the PeerForward program, students become more connected to their college community. When deep connections are formed, students’ dedication to the success of their peers grows. Sometimes, the strongest relationships built are with other peer leaders.
Anyston and Katharine met at Cal State LA while training to be PeerForward Peer Leaders in 2021. As their mentorship skills grew, so did their friendship. These two are shining examples of the kind of peer-to-peer connections we love to see flourish through our program. We sat down with the pair to discuss their friendship and how PeerForward played a role in its development.
Can you tell me how you met and talk a little bit about your friendship?
Kathrine: We met at the peer leader program, and we got to be very close.
Anyston: We definitely got to know each other a lot through failing and also succeeding with the peer mentees. There was a lot of trial and error, but we’re super understanding of each other. We build each other up a lot, and that strengthened our friendship and commitment to the program.
Kathrine: I also think our friendship and how we’ve gotten so close helps us work together better. We’re more comfortable and I feel like we have good chemistry and, when you have chemistry, you get your work done better. I feel like it is also very enjoyable. I enjoy coming to work and seeing her. It makes it more fun and it doesn’t even feel like a job; it is just something I love to do. We also get to help students, which, at the end of the day, is a good thing. Working with the students helps us to grow too because when they learn we learn.
What makes Anyston a good peer mentor?
Kathrine: I think how sweet she is. She is very caring, loving, and supportive. That is what you need in a mentor.
What makes Kathrine a good peer mentor?
I would say the exact same thing about Kathrine that she said about me. I think that is probably why we’ve bonded so much. I see a lot of supportive, understanding, and caring characteristics in her, so we complement each other very well.
Responses have been edited for clarity