Latinx Mentoring Initiative

WFU’s Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Minor is proud to partner with WFU’s Education department, Latino Community Services (LCS) and Northwest Middle School to launch a mentoring program for Latinx middle school and high school youth of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The program consists of pairing WFU students with Latinx students affiliated with Northwest or LCS for a mentoring relationship that lasts at least two years.

The mentoring program will not only provide Latinx
youth with academic support to prepare them to apply to college and future careers but also provide them the non-academic support that they need to succeed in school and undergo difficult, transitional periods in their lives.

For more information about the 2022-24 Latinx Mentoring Initiative Application, contact:

Dr. Betina Cutaia Wilkinson (, Co-Director of Initiative 

Dr. Peter Siavelis (, Co-Director of Initiative 

Dr. Dani Parker-Moore (, Co-Director of Initiative

Mentoring the children at El Buen Pastor [now LCS] has definitely been a highlight of mine at Wake. I was able to help students that reminded me so much of myself when I was their age. My mentee and I both came from similar cultural backgrounds, a similar family makeup, lacked available financial and educational resources, and we didn’t have college educated parents to guide us. It felt so rewarding to be able to give my mentee the knowledge and support I wish I had in high school.

Alexandra Reyes (’18), Latinx Mentoring Initiative Alumna

How the Program Works

In order to participate in this program, there are two tracks that mentors can follow: the academic track and the tutoring track.

The Academic Track

This track involves students…

  • mentoring at Northwest Middle School or LCS (activities involve tutoring, taking mentees on campus tours and partaking in social activities with mentee),
  • taking an independent study course on mentoring led by Dr. Parker Moore during the first year of the program and
  • earning three Latin American and Latino Studies credit hours for completing an independent study course with Dr. Wilkinson or Dr. Siavelis. Students on this track mentor for two years. 

The Tutoring Track

This track involves students…

  • taking an  independent study course on mentoring led by Dr. Parker Moore during the first year of the program.
  • serving as a mentor to students at LCS or Northwest Middle School (activities involve tutoring, taking students on campus tours and partaking in social activities with mentee) over the span of two years.  

Before being admitted to the program, WFU students will undergo an application process that will include submission of required paper work to Dr. Peter Siavelis (siavelpm@edu) and an interview by a member of the program.

Program Benefits

  • Make a difference in the life of a Latinx student
  • Having the opportunity to get out of the WFU bubble and learn more about the city of Winston-Salem and its residents
  • Develop a more comprehensive understanding of the strength and struggles of Latinx students in the U.S.
  • Receive six academic credits, three in education for a mentoring course and three towards the Latin American and Latino Studies Minor (Academic track)
  • Develop critical thinking, analytical, quantitative literacy and writing skills (Academic track)
  • Develop strong leadership, inter-personal communication skills
  • Develop a rich and rewarding relationship with a local Latinx student that can last a lifetime!

Current Mentors

Anna Buyarski (’24)

Major in Psychology

Brendan Mirra (’23)

Major in Politics and International Affairs, Minors in Environmental Studies and Spanish

Mia Vazquez (’24)

Major in Politics and International Affairs, Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies

Alumni of Program

Alexandra Reyes (’18)

Major in Sociology, Minors in Economics and ESE

Kimberly Romero (’18)

Majors in Politics and International Affairs and Spanish

The Latino Mentoring Initiative has been one of the most significant parts of my Wake Forest experience. It was important for me to connect with other Latinos in the area and to pass along the knowledge that got me through college debt-free. As a recent graduate going into the education field, this experience also prepared me to work with the youth and to realize the various challenges that persist in education today but also the ways in which to combat them!

Kimberly Romero (’18), Latinx Mentoring Initiative Alumna