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February 16, 2024

Christian Union Provides Support for Alumni 

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate

Tiffany Agyarko, a civil engineer and Princeton alumna, had many new aspects of life to manage when she graduated in May 2023. In the course of just a few weeks, Agyarko had packed up her life as a university student in New Jersey to move to Houston, Texas, to immediately begin her career.

The one area of her new life that she did not need to invest time and energy into researching was the area of spiritual mentorship. Christian Union had provided this small yet meaningful anchor for her when she relocated. Moving to an entirely new city, sometimes even to a new country, to build a professional life and find a supportive, like-minded community of faith can be daunting. With this in mind, Christian Union established its mentoring program to help ease the post graduation transition.   

The main goals of the program are to see new graduates attending church regularly, making Christian friends, achieving professional and spiritual goals, and becoming good stewards of the gifts God has given them. 

Agyarko and her mentor meet once a month over Zoom; she also has met her mentor for dinner when they were both in Houston. Another pair of graduates in the program who live in different cities in Asia recently met up in Hong Kong to attend a young adult Bible study together. Whatever the specifics are about each mentoring pair, their time together is structured enough to provide meaningful support, but flexible enough to meet each participant's needs.

Agyarko confirms this, stating she finds CU's mentoring program very beneficial and consequently, she recommends that students request a mentor, especially considering it is only a ten-month commitment and could potentially serve as a meaningful anchor in a time of transition. 

"I advocate for every graduating senior to get involved," she said.

When asked what constitutes a good mentor, Agyarko said, "Actively pursuing God in her own life is the most important trait for a great mentor, in my opinion. Initiating and proactively creating time to connect with one's mentee is also very important." 

Agyarko believes that being paired with another black woman in the field of civil engineering was a meaningful connection for her. However, the best way to get the most out of a mentoring relationship, Agyako says, "is to be responsive and open to the experience because there is something valuable to be gained."

Thoughts from graduating seniors echo the same sentiment. One Cornell senior says, "I'm eager to make an impact on the world for Christ, and am always grateful to learn from older, more experienced people." Another senior at Yale says, "I am excited to tap into my mentor's life and work experience and spiritual wisdom. I believe my life and career path may be a little non-traditional, but I want to keep God firmly at the center of it."

Christine Foster, Christian Union's Director of Mentoring, travels from late March through the end of April to explain the program to students at each of the universities where Christian Union ministers. She joyfully shares more information about this opportunity over a cup of coffee with any interested seniors.

Christian Union students have familiarity with mentoring, as ministry directors and fellows provide one-on-one discipleship to students through their respective university ministries. Thus, post-graduation mentoring provides a common thread from students' undergraduate lives to support them in their continued growth and service to the Lord. 

This is also the time of year that the ministry is actively seeking volunteers to be mentors for the class of 2024. The commitment is modest — the program asks that each mentor commit an hour each month from June 2024 through March 2025 to meet with their mentee, either online or in person. Some will do more, if desired, welcoming their mentee to worship with them or to have dinner in their home. Pairs might do a Bible study together or even memorize sections of Scripture together. 

If you are an alumnus of Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Penn, Cornell, or Stanford and are interested in becoming a mentor, please click here. Christian Union will also consider friends of the ministry who have degrees from similar kinds of schools to be mentors. Anyone with questions about the program is welcome to contact Christine Foster.