Daniel Connolly is a final-year international business student and mentor with the School to Tertiary Outreach Mentoring Program (STOMP). STOMP pairs ANU students with refugee students from Dickson College to support them academically and personally.
Daniel says that mentoring for STOMP has helped open his eyes to the challenges faced by refugee students.
"My mentee is the only partly English-speaking member of her immediate family in Australia, meaning her household's ability to communicate with outsiders rests on her shoulders. Most high school students have nowhere near this level of responsibility at home, and it has made me appreciate how strong these refugee students are and how lucky I've been."
Daniel believes that STOMP mentors play an important part in helping refugee students to cope with their new lives in Australia.
"Refugee youth share problems common to many young people, such as making friends and fitting in among their peers at school. But the cultural, language and financial barriers that often exist for them can make this even more difficult. To have local students as mentors to assist with these problems and be a friend is a good way to help them feel comfortable in their new home environment."
Daniel has also enjoyed the opportunity to give back to his old school and share some insider knowledge.
"I have found myself giving tips to my mentee on which classes to take, which teachers to talk to for advice, and the best items off the school canteen menu!"
Refugee students and ANU students who participate in the STOMP program are supported through funds raised by donors to The ANU Fund. By giving to The ANU Fund, you will support students like Daniel who are trying to make a difference at ANU and to our nation.
Together, we can count the ways that we are helping students and creating a better future for us all. You can give to The ANU Fund today.
Daniel is currently studying international business at the College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University.