A partnership between UT Health San Antonio and Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) continues to bear fruit five years after its creation.
The partnership, a workplace mentorship initiative called Inspire University, is a one-to-one, face-to-face, developmental mentoring program designed to provide students with workplace exposure, career awareness and college preparation as part of the development of a post high school plan.
The program matches Bigs (the adult mentors) and Littles (the student mentees who attend KIPPS School), paired together by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Mentors and mentees gather on our campus for monthly lunchtime meetings. The Littles now in the program began when they were in middle school, and this year they are completing their sophomore and junior years in high school.
“Workplace mentoring is more than just a field trip for the Littles,” said Irene Chapa, Ph.D., director of the Office of Recruitment and Science Outreach that oversees the program. “It’s an opportunity for these students to interact with positive role models, learn about professional etiquette, and, oftentimes, visit places which they may not normally have access to. Workplace Mentoring introduces the Littles to careers at an early age, giving them an opportunity to learn about the professional world first-hand.
“New career paths and life goals are introduced, and lives are truly changed, Dr. Chapa said.
The UT Health Inspire University program has 33 Bigs representing a variety of career fields including administrative, clinical and research arenas.