FBI Columbia
Public Affairs Officer Kevin Wheeler
803-551-4200 - columbiamedia@fbi.gov
September 26, 2023

FBI Columbia Begins Second Year of College Mentoring Program

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)—The FBI Columbia Field Office launched its FBI Columbia Mentoring Program today for the second year in a row, partnering with multiple colleges and universities in South Carolina.

FBI employees, including special agents, intelligence analysts and professional staff members, will be paired with 25 students from seven schools in a mentor-mentee relationship. This year the program’s participating schools include Newberry College, Claflin University, Coastal Carolina University, Coker University, Morris College, Benedict College, and Bob Jones University.

The selection process is competitive with over 100 students who applied to be part of the program. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.8. They were also required to write an essay to be considered for the program.

Over the next seven months, the mentors and mentees will meet at least once a month. The sessions are designed to strengthen the students’ professional development. This program will also allow FBI mentors to have a better understanding of the college student population to enhance their trust. It is a two-way learning experience centered around the FBI’s core values.

In addition to the individual sessions, mentees will also attend programs focused on presentation skills, professional development, decision making, and health and wellness. A career expo is also planned during the program.

“It is my hope that the students who participate in the program can get a clear vision of what we do and what we stand for in the FBI,” said Dionia Jenkins, a Community Outreach Specialist. “I also hope the mentors will learn from the students to better understand how we can serve their population and how we can be a resource for them.”

The second year of the mentoring program comes on the heels of a successful year where the program supported efforts of the FBI’s Beacon Project.

Because of that success and positive feedback, the mentoring program was expanded to include new schools.

“The skills that the students will learn will help in their personal and professional development, whether they choose to pursue a career in the FBI or another profession,” said Community Outreach Specialist Chiquanda Tillie.

Students will be recognized next spring for their participation upon completion of the mentoring program.