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
Level of collaboration Flexible
Benefits Other
Who is eligible Anyone
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

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



To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. 

To get started, contact the project mentor using the contact information above to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge. Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project:

  • 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