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Gabe Santner takes the Reins on New QCC Mentoring Program

August, 2018
  • QCC Director of Mentoring for Perkins Programs, Gabriel “Gabe” Santner
    QCC Director of Mentoring for Perkins Programs, Gabriel “Gabe” Santner

As the QCC Director of Mentoring for Perkins Programs, Gabriel “Gabe” Santner has already made his presence felt in the short time he has been at the college. Coming from a family of educators, helping others advance their future through education is just second nature to him. As someone who believes being involved in the community is vital to student success, he has taken the lead in helping to shape QCC’s new mentoring program.

QCC’s existing mentoring programs, Brothers & Keepers and S.H.E. are now being combined into one inclusive program that connects QCC students with staff, faculty, industry, and community members, creating one-on-one mentoring relationships. This unique program provides extensive benefits to students, as well as professional development and networking opportunities for mentors.

“I’ve been interested in college success since I was in college at Clark University and been interested in helping underserved students succeed in college,” he said, adding that it’s not always academic barriers that prevent a student from success, but often it can be logistical barriers.

Mr. Santner, who has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communication and Culture from the Clark University and a Masters in Arts in Urban Education Policy from Brown University, was most recently the project coordinator for grants in the Worcester Public Schools (WPS). In that role he saw how a lack of funding was the biggest challenge to the school system and how grant writing helped to obtain funds that made positive changes within the schools.  In the WPS, he worked on many grants that were geared to post-secondary success and was interested in the high school/college connection. When the QCC position for the Director of Mentoring for Perkins Programs was posted, he said he jumped at the opportunity to combine his interests with his experience.

The new QCC mentoring program actively involves and encourages community members to become mentors, something that Mr. Santner feels is a win-win for everyone. He is working closely with Ricky Fraizer, Counselor of the TRIO Student Support Services Program and Dean of Students Terry Vecchio to expand the mentoring program into the community.

President Pedraja is also very interested in this program and its success, which is rare for a college and very powerful,” he added.

The mentoring program is designed to provide a way for QCC students to connect with mentors and build positive relationships to support their college experience. Students will develop employer-desired skills and gain an understanding of workplace expectations and networking to increase their likelihood of finding a rewarding career.

While the rewards of being a mentee are vast, being a mentor is also just as rewarding.

“Why sign up to be a mentor? People may have had a mentor in their life, often in a work environment after college, but may have wanted that mentor sooner,” Mr. Santner said. 

Mentoring can also enhance a person’s own professional skills and also create a legacy by paying it forward.

The QCC Mentoring program will offer a wide set of support services to both mentors and mentees. There will be monthly workshops and social events for mentors and mentees throughout the academic year, and mentors will have access to QCC professional development, complimentary gym membership at QCC, as well as the Fab Lab, library and additional on-campus resources. The program will run a full academic year beginning with a kickoff event on October 11 where mentors and mentees will meet for the first time.

Anyone who is interested in being a mentor or a mentee can visit QCC Mentoring.