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Mentorship Stories and Impact

Volta mentoring programs enrich the educational experience and change lives.

To learn more about the impact of our mentoring programs, you can read student stories below.

Picture of Piper Center Volta Mentor Joel Salcido

Joel Salcido
Mentor, MFA in Poetry, 2018

I’ve seen both my mentees delve deeper into their personal histories and lexicons and both have shown a willingness to uncover their vulnerabilities and to recognize that those are the places their poems are steering them toward. I’ve noticed a lot about my own poetic approaches and pedagogical lexicons. I often am imparting on my mentees the lessons that are coming to me from my mentors, professors and cohort. Through the necessity of articulating to my mentees how I am entering my writing process, or how close reading of poetry has framed my rendering of my own ideas, so much of what I have learned has become more deeply engrained, concretized and resonant. This is useful both in practical terms for future lesson planning, creation of syllabi, and lectures and panels, but it is also beneficial to me as a creative writer by allowing me the opportunity to express which aspects of my education and training have made the most profound impact in my work as an artist.


ASU Student Raquel Denis at Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference 2018 credit Kevin S Moul

Raquel Denis
Mentee, BA in Poetry, 2018

Each week that I meet with my mentor, Joel, I discover new insights into my writing process: areas of strength that I need to cultivate and blindspots where I didn't realize I needed growth. I am also learning new perspectives in how to approach my poems, whether that's using the lexicon of architecture, structuring the access points of the poem through the  language of the body or experimenting with new strategies to utilize metaphor and the visual structure of a poem to keep a reader engaged. Additionally, I have found practical guidance and accountability that encourages me to submit my work, network with others, build a CV resume and start thinking about what's ahead vocationally  and academically.

More importantly I have felt believed in and affirmed as a young writer, that my voice matters and that I am in a process of learning a craft that could develop into something real. I can't express how that is shaping me except that I feel it is giving me encouragement to keep pursuing a life of writing! All in all, I feel very grateful for this program and for the insight and wisdom Joel has shared with me!