Name: Desiray Chavannes
Course: LLB Law
Year (18/19): Second Year
Why do you think the Peer Mentoring Scheme is important?
I think the peer mentoring scheme is important because it helps not only provide extra love and support to incoming students it also creates a platform for students to find other first years similar to them. It is also an extra life line so to speak. I feel when students are dealing with other students they are more likely to be honest about what they need and what they are finding difficult. The wall of authority and discipline is broken and with it the fear of being judged.
What benefit does this scheme have for mentees?
As an international student, it was helpful to know that there were other people just like me who were able to be successful in their first year, and this information was made available to me through the peer mentoring scheme. By knowing that I had an extra life line in the form of my mentor and also knowing that there were other students asking the same questions and feeling the same nerves as me was really comforting and helped me feel more comfortable branching out and trying new things.
What made you apply to be a lead mentor?
As someone who is affected by mental illness I know how important a little bit of extra support is. I felt that I had a lot of ideas to help support other students who may not have the easiest time adjusting to university life. I also believe that I have a lot I can offer not only to the team but to the university and through this position I will be able to do that. I just really want everyone’s experience at the University of Leicester to be as positive as possible.
One interesting fact about yourself?
I have experienced 24-hour sunlight in some of the most northern communities in Canada. Over the summer I took a total of 13 planes in 7 weeks and travelled to 7 communities throughout Nunavut, Canada to teach in summer camps for indigenous children. It was a life altering trip and heavily contributed to why I would call this the best summer of my life.
One thing you enjoy about studying at Leicester?
I value the fact that although the University of Leicester is a large school it still feels like a small, close- knit community. I genuinely feel that a majority of the people at the school care about me and my well-being. I cannot overstate the importance of support, especially when entering a new environment. Throughout my first year I really felt that support. It also doesn’t hurt that the school does not shy away from the social aspect of university. I feel there are ample spaces for students to go and have fun and socialize which I think is equally as important as work and study zones.