Woman to Woman Mentoring Program Celebrates 2012 Program Graduates
The Woman to Woman Mentoring Program recently hosted Stepping Forward, an annual event to honor mentees, mentors, and supporters of the program. This year’s event was held at the scenic mountain retreat, ThorpeWood Lodge, and welcomed women of all ages to celebrate the importance of mentorship in a young woman’s life. The strength of the mentor/mentee relationships forged over the past year was evident by the friendly conversation and celebratory energy throughout the evening.
This year the Woman to Woman Mentoring Program awarded scholarships to three mentees, Julia Puente, Lizbeth Carillo, and Mihaela Mija Smith. These young women were chosen based on an essay, their mentor’s recommendation, meeting the requirements for interacting with their mentor, and attending W2WM workshops. The scholarships may be used to further the mentees' education in their chosen field.
Mentee Lizbeth Carillo shared how the program has affected her, "This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I used to describe myself as someone who was very shy and quiet, but with my mentor, it was different. Every time we met, we always had something to talk about."
Lizbeth went on to share with the audience just how far she had progressed through the Woman to Woman Mentoring Program, "I thank the program for helping me overcome one of my greatest fears, public speaking. My mentor introduced me to Toastmasters, which we attended together. And here I am, speaking to you tonight."
Mentees are not the only ones transformed through the process. Mentor Cathy Warner reflected on her experiences with her mentee, "At our first meeting, we just talked and got to know each, and I thought, what a privilege to be able to go on this journey with this young woman."
She continued, adding, "The journey is not so much about where you’re going, but what you do to get there. We built a mutual relationship based on trust."
Sharon Riser, director of The Temple – A Paul Mitchell School, was the keynote speaker for the evening and was recognized for her personal and professional commitment to mentorship. Riser, who has mentored hundreds of women during her seven-year tenure as director of The Temple, offered advice to mentors and mentees alike: "Every single day, we are all mentors . . . in how we carry ourselves, in how we listen, in the books we recommend. Get to know people. Go above and beyond; don’t just show up for work."
Riser also reminded the audience about the power of relationship building and the need to be tenacious in order to achieve one’s goals. To mentees, she said, "Tell people what your goals are. If you don’t tell people your dreams, they are never going to come true."
To current and future mentors, she shared that in her experience, "the one who does the teaching does the learning."
Applications for mentees for the upcoming program year will be accepted through July 15, 2012. Mentees may be between 18 and 35 years old. The program is also seeking mature and responsible professional women beyond the age of 30 who live or work in Frederick County to serve as mentors.
Information about the program and applications for the 2012-2013 program year are available at www.womantowomanfrederick.org. For more details, contact Katherine Douglass, program coordinator, at W2WMentoring@frederick.edu or call 301.846.2556