The CU Boulder Center for Leadership’s mentoring arm, the Boulder-CU Leadership Program, wrapped up its second semester of successful mentoring partnerships between professionals in the local community and CU students. Members of the Downtown Boulder Partnership and the Boulder Chamber connected with 35 undergraduate students across all majors and interests. Most students were members of the Center for Leadership’s 24 campus affiliates.
Created in 2019, the partnership pairs students with their mentors based on a variety of criteria spanning from their professional aspirations to their personal interest and hobbies. The pairs are expected to meet for a minimum of 14 hours over the course of the semester, and build out a schedule and set expectations that work best for them. Throughout the semester, mentors and mentees participate in a mixer event and a special session with Chancellor Phil DiStefano. Students are asked to engage in goal-setting and reflection and receive comprehensive feedback from their mentors at the end of the semester.
Ceu Gomez-Faulk, a sophomore aerospace engineering student, was paired with Chip, CEO of the Downtown Boulder Partnership. Gomez-Faulk and Chip forged a meaningful relationship.
“Over the course of our semester together, Chip and I have touched on a myriad of topics ranging from industry interview skills to the federal division of powers," Gomez-Faulk said. "Notably, what has stuck with me is less the minute details of our chats and more the assurance and decisiveness I am left with when our conversations come to an end.”
The benefits of the program are not just for the undergraduate students who are enrolled in it. The mentors, too, claim they learn much from their mentees about what leadership means to students in today’s society. Mentors experienced different perspectives, world views, studies and industries.
“I have been blessed with a profound and lasting kinship," Chip said. "I am confident that we have both been enriched through this process.”
The Boulder-CU Leadership Program was experienced remotely for participants this semester due to the restrictions posed by COVID-19. Those challenges, however, seemed no match for a coalition of willing participants in the program. Through Zoom meetings and telephone calls, the mentors and mentees built strong relationships that will last long after the semester draws to a close.
“Having a trusted, experienced person to talk to is priceless in today’s isolated world, and I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity," Gomez-Faulk said.
Alan Rogers, chair of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, has worked extensively with Aaron Roof, executive director of the Center for Leadership, to get the program off the ground.
“Boulder is one community and we have a unique opportunity with the CU students nestled together with the many businesses, restaurants and stores,” Rogers said. “The Boulder-CU Leadership Program provides the integrating linkage between the students and the many experienced Boulder mentors to work together to shape tomorrow’s leaders.”
Students interested in registering for the BCLP are able to do so through Jan. 10, 2021.