Pay It Forward: Share Your College Experience with Area Youth and Support Their Academic Journey

University at Buffalo flag flying. Blue with white letters: UB.

Share your college experiences and strategies for success as a mentor to students at the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School.

Project description

As a UB student, you have earned your place at the University, competing with other applicants to demonstrate your achievements and potential. You probably had help along the way - perhaps family, mentors and advisors who have offered support and guidance, helping you navigate the college application process and negotiate challenges and opportunities along the way.

Through this project, we invite you to pay the support forward - sharing your experiences and strategies with area youth who aspire to the opportunities and success you have achieved. Specifically, the Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School is looking for UB students to serve as mentors, helping their population understand the opportunities available through UB and inspiring them to pursue exciting career and academic pathways. We are especially interested in engaging UB students from international or intercultural backgrounds and first-generation students.

In-person mentoring is preferred but we are also open to virtual mentoring or digital presentations that can be cataloged and shared. 

Project outcome

Students will work with John Mehmet Kaya, staff member at Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School and UB doctoral student (Graduate School of Education), to develop personalized presentations and mentoring opportunities aligned with school needs.

Presentations will include but not be limited to:

  • Personal stories highlighting perseverance and commitment to higher education 
  • Suggestions about the application process
  • Demystifying the undergraduate experience
  • Suggestions and strategies for success
  • Providing mentoring and support
  • Clarification of academic programs and support
  • Introduction to UB and possibly tours/shadowing opportunities

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Open: Any
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
In-person, Remote
Level of collaboration Flexible
Benefits Other
Who is eligible Anyone

Core partners

  • Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School
  • UB offices and programs

Project mentor

John Mehmet Kaya

PhD Student

GSE Department of Learning and Instruction

Phone: (860) 617-2727


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Tour of Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School and meeting with Leadership Team and select faculty and students
  • Review of literature related to college access challenges (in consultation with Libraries)
  • Submission of a personal reflection essay


Learning and Instruction