Jalen Pullings builds community as a peer mentor through DEAP


Jalen Pullings valued his experience in the DEAP peer mentor program as a mentee during his freshman year, so he decided to become a mentor during his sophomore year to support fellow students. Pullings is now a junior accounting and finance major at the Kelley School of Business and dedicates his time to others as a peer mentor through the Diversity Enrichment and Achievement Program (DEAP). 

Peer mentors support DEAP scholars by being a friend, advocate, and coach as they make their transition into IU Indianapolis. Pullings explains that being a peer mentor is “stressful but rewarding.” 

“I started out with 13 [mentees] and ended up with about 17 by the end of the year,” Pullings said. “Some students will not talk to you, which is perfectly fine, and then some will want to talk to you all the time, and then some may need you and then some will say ‘I appreciate it, but I don’t really need you.’ while others say ‘I’m thinking about dropping out, what do you think?” 

Pullings was looking for ways to get involved and meet new people on campus while many things were still closed during the height of the pandemic, so he became a mentee with DEAP during his freshman year.

I have to be able to respect everybody’s culture, everybody’s background, and be appreciative of it. So, the traits of a community contributor resonate with me very well.