At the Women Give San Diego quarterly member meeting, we started the evening discussing two topics:
- How mentors have influenced your life.
- Something you still want to accomplish in your life.
It was interesting to hear women discuss how many of them felt supported by their parents who believed that they could do anything, but they realized that they needed support in the form of a mentor who would give them a “push”. Often we need a mentor to inspire us, encourage us and give us a kick in the pants to chase after our dreams. If you know where you want to be in five years, a mentor can help you figure out what you need to do now and each year following to meet your goal in five years.
My mentor, Joelle, gave me a platform to jump off of in order to start living my dreams. When I thought my dream was impossible, Joelle helped me figure out how to make the impossible, possible.
In 2002, I met Joelle James who would later become my mentor. I was volunteering with a nonprofit organization who served young women by providing an annual leadership conference and adult women mentors. As I got more involved, I realized that there needed to be an ongoing program between conferences that provided women role models for young women as well as mentors. Little did I know, that while I was developing a leadership and mentorship program for young women, I was being mentored.
She said: “Go for it!” And then she provided the support and foundation for me to build a program from the ground up.
This leadership program for young women ended up developing into a new nonprofit. And guess who was my first Board member?
She was also the first donor. She served on the Board for a few years and eventually took over as Executive Director when it was time for me to turn over the reins.
During this time, Joelle gave me a shoulder to cry on, an ear to rant in and the optimism of a Xanax addict. She was my cheerleader. When it seemed like things were not working, Joelle helped me brainstorm alternatives. She was my rock.
How have mentors positively influenced your life? Have you achieved things you would have thought were impossible with their “push”?