Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center


The Mentor Power for Success Program is a dynamic autumn quarter partnership between first-year Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) students (protégés) and continuing UW students (mentors), to help protégés make a successful transition to university life. Mentor students use their knowledge of UW resources and services to guide protégés as they navigate the breadth of what the university has to offer. We match mentor and protégé pairs based on academic major, interests and hobbies, co-curricular involvements, and similar identities/experiences.

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“[My mentor] has gone above and beyond to help me feel like I can be the best student I can be, and has made me more confident as a person.” – Protege, 2023

“[My mentor] encouraged me to try different activities and told me about various resources I could use at UW, which made me feel very supported. She has many things to do outside of being a mentor, but she always dedicates her time to having meetings with me.” – Protege, 2023

When I came to UW I had not heard of this program and felt very limited in my understanding of OMAD resources. I love that MPFS reaches out to students who, like me, may have been overwhelmed by a large campus and no clear way to navigate all of the programs. I think this program… is an outstanding resource for proteges, and a great experience for mentors.” – Mentor, 2021

[My mentor] made me safe in confiding in them and provided great (and culturally informed) advice that left room for me to figure out what I really wanted.” – Protege, 2021

[My mentor] has given me so much advice, tips, and help, and I know I can reach out to her and get answers. Navigating through my first year is so stressful… and I don’t feel like a burden asking simple questions that I’m confused on in the college transition. I absolutely adore her.” – Protege, 2020

I was able to feel as though I truly belonged on this campus. I found myself trying to go to more events and seeking new friends and study groups.” -Protege, 2018


In 1989, the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) and the University of Washington Alumni Association (UWAA) established the Mentor Program. The Mentor Program was designed to help incoming Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students make successful transitions to university life and provide career connections for our continuing EOP students (student mentors). 

In 2014, this program became housed under the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center and became known as Mentor Power for Success. Over time, this program has shifted focus from a year-long program to a fall quarter program. This is based on research that indicates that a student’s first six weeks are critical in shaping their time in college. The student mentors introduce the new students (protégés) to campus resources and provide personal and academic support during their transition to the University of Washington.


The mission of the Mentor Power for Success Program is to provide incoming OMA&D EOP students a successful transition to the University of Washington. Students will explore campus wide resources and opportunities through active participation in mentoring, networking, group activities and cultural events.