Efe Oboh-Idahosa ’23 of Lynn, MA, remembers what it was like to arrive on a college campus and not know where to begin. “I had no sense of direction. I shied away from a lot of things such as joining clubs and organizations or participating in any activities because I felt like I didn’t fit in. There were a lot things that I didn’t know how to do, which I had to figure out for myself.”
To guide first-year and new students, Oboh-Idahosa created Chance for Change, a new student mentoring program. “Chance For Change provides an opportunity for first-year and transfer students to receive guidance on college life from upper-class students,” she said.
Now in its second semester, a small group of Chance for Change mentors advise students on academics, student life, and personal issues, with guidance from faculty and staff as needed.
“I always believed that having a mentor, especially in college, makes things easier because you are getting advice from someone who has the experience of being in college, both academically and personally, and is able and willing to give advice when you might need it the most,” said Oboh-Idahosa. “First-year students who are first generation don’t always have an understanding of what college is,” she added. “You have a lot of decisions to make. Chance for Change offers guidance and meetings with mentees. We try to encourage them to join different organizations.” CFC has helped a student try a new major and college and assisted another student in a successful tryout for an athletic team.
"Mentoring is critical to student engagement and satisfation with their university experience," said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Kimberly Scott. Mentoring provides opportunities to connect new students with more seasoned students who can assist with answering questions, directing them to resources, and navigating campus life. Student Affairs is happy to assist SGA with expanding the Chance for Change Peer Mentoring Program to reach more students."
Honors College provided support
Born in Nigeria, Oboh-Idahosa chose UMass Dartmouth for the political science major with a pre-law concentration, which she hopes will prepare her for her future career in corporate law. “My experience at the university has been wonderful, both as a student and in the Honors College. I have grown so much and learned a great deal. I have also gained so much confidence in my potential and realize how powerful I can be if I believe in myself and put my mind to it.”
Oboh-Idahosa highly recommends enrolling in the Honors College if offered the opportunity. “There are a lot of benefits. Having it on your resume will help with graduate school or to get a good job. They provide very positive resources for students. They’re always there for you.”
"Efe is a powerhouse. All of us in the Honors College have been so impressed with her energy, civic mindedness, and ambition," said Dr Amy Shapiro, director of the Honors College and professor of psychology. "She took advantage of all the opportunities the Honors College has to offer and launched herself. I couldn't be more proud."
Oboh-Idahosa will complete her degree early after the fall 2022 semester but will walk with her class in the spring 2023 commencement. She will take the LSAT in August.
Interns in the UMass President’s Office and volunteers as a student ambassador, tutor, and campus leader
Oboh-Idahosa currently interns for the University of Massachusetts President’s Office with the Unified Procurement Service Team as a service and quality intern in a communications and customer service role for contract-related work.
She is an undergraduate representative on the Police Department Oversight Committee that includes the UMass Dartmouth chief of police, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students. “We evaluate different policies being implemented on campus and develop ways to improve UMassD police interactions with students and campus residents,” she said. “Our job is to make sure that all policies put in place are for the safety of the UMass Dartmouth community.”
Oboh-Idahosa serves as a tutor in the Writing and Multiliteracy Center for almost every major in the College of Arts & Sciences. “My main focus is to help improve students’ writing and critical thinking abilities on whatever assignment they want to work on and help them develop the best work for their assignment,” she said.
As a student ambassador, Oboh-Idahosa gives campus tours to incoming and prospective students and conveys why UMass Dartmouth might be the best choice for their undergraduate career. She speaks at Open House, Destination Day, and other admissions events about her experiences.
During her second semester at UMass Dartmouth, Oboh-Idahosa joined the Student Government Association and now serves as corresponding secretary.
“I have always been an activist at heart and always wanted to advocate for the betterment of all people. I used to be shy and it didn’t come naturally. College was a different experience that allowed me to get out of my bubble, so I can provide a voice for a younger generation and use my power to advocate for students who might be voiceless,” she said.
When she is not studying, advocating, or volunteering, Oboh-Idahosa likes to read, travel, swim, and spend time with friends and family. “I like to do anything fun to help me rejuvenate myself before I go back to more studying, advocating, and volunteering,” she said.
“UMassD was the perfect choice for me. I had so many different options here,” said Oboh-Idahosa. “It has helped me find the best version of myself.”