When Panthers mentor Panthers

Natalie Hernandez felt disconnected. It was fall 2020, COVID-19 was in full swing and she was taking virtual UWM courses from her parents’ home in Illinois. She was also doubting whether she should continue pursuing her architecture major.

Then came the lifeline: a UWM Alumni Association email about its Mentoring Program. “I thought, ‘You know what? I feel like I need a mentor,’” says Hernandez, a firstgeneration college student. So she signed up.

The Alumni Association paired Hernandez with Kate Riordan, a city of Milwaukee transportation planner. Riordan, who earned a UWM master’s degree in urban planning in 2013, spent a lot of time talking to Hernandez about her own career and her projects at work. She also served as a reassuring sounding board for Hernandez.

Read more about Natalie Hernandez’s experience here.