Journal article

From homeland to home: Widening Participation through the LEAP Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) Program

Refugees Mentoring Students Multiculturalism Cultural assimilation Immigration Greater Western Sydney
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Mentoring is often conceptualised as a one-to-one interaction between peers, or as an academic to student interaction, with the aim of developing self-esteem, connectedness, identity, and academic attitudes within one party. While various researchers have provided support for effectiveness of mentoring in fostering the aforementioned qualities, limited studies have looked at the impacts of outreach mentoring programs. This article examines the impact of the LEAP-Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) program on high school students from refugee backgrounds who are mentees on the program and on the university students who are mentors on the program. A qualitative study was completed involving five focus groups, individual and semi structured interviews with 54 mentees and diary analysis of 45 mentors. Transcripts of interview and focus groups were analysed using a grounded approach. Key findings highlighted that the LEAP-Macquarie Mentoring (Refugee Mentoring) program supported both mentors and mentees in making a smooth personal, social, and academic transition from high school to university, helped them develop leadership potential, and provided them with a connection to community.

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