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About Diksha Bali

Diksha is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education’s (Penn GSE) programs in Research Methods and Human Development. Her work is focused on improving equity for children and families through prevention, intervention and support, particularly in the areas of mental health and education. She is particularly interested in social and emotional supports for children and adolescents as they grow up. Mentoring relationships can provide this support. Previously, Diksha co-coordinated a research team that supported evaluation of the Next Steps program, a college community service and mentoring program for First Generation and/or Low Income (FGLI) students. Her work for Next Steps was done in partnership with Sean Plaskett, a fellow graduate student, and under the direction of Dr. Michael J. Nakkula, Chair of the APHDQM department at Penn GSE, and senior research colleague John Harris of Applied Research Consulting.

Diksha will be commencing work with Child Trends’ Early Childhood division in the next month, where she will be evaluating and strengthening programs and policy for children and families across the nation.

About Sean Plaskett

Sean is a doctoral student at Penn GSE in the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development program. His research interests are rooted in the superimposition of the disciplines of psychology (B.S., The Ohio State University, 2011) & human development (M.S. Ed., Penn GSE, 2016) and how they can be used to inform teaching and education more broadly through effective mediations and interventions for underserved and underrepresented student populations, specifically from minority and low-income backgrounds. He currently serves as the lead research coordinator for a college mentoring study at Penn – under the direction of Dr. Michael J. Nakkula and senior research colleague John Harris of Applied Research Consulting – which examines the efficacy of a mentoring model designed to serve first-generation, low-income college students in their transition and acclimation to universities in the Philadelphia area.

Show Highlights

  • A peer mentoring model through AmeriCorps
  • Matching mentors with mentees
  • Different approaches to the mentoring program
  • Overcoming the imposter syndrome
  • Where do you see mentoring programs headed in the future?

Connect with Diksha and Sean

Email Diksha: [email protected]

Email Sean: [email protected]

Peer Mentoring to Support First-Generation Low-Income College Students

Connect with me on Twitter @sheldoneakins

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