Introducing RisingLeaders Mentorship and the Program’s Impact
Hi Everyone – I’m Jamie Lu, and I am a guest blogger on the Sweet Dreams Project’s blog! In mid-2012, I founded RisingLeaders Mentorship, in partnership with the Sweet Dreams Project, after being inspired by both my volunteer experiences at Sweet Dreams in 2011 and by the Sweet Dreams cooperative members. Rashi Kacker then joined to lead the recruitment and development efforts for the organization and since then, we’ve recruited an amazing team of committed volunteers and mentors. Jane Segal, executive director, has been wonderful in guiding RisingLeader’s development, and we would not be as successful as we are today without her support or the support of those who have provided us with funding.
You are probably wondering – what is RisingLeaders? RisingLeaders is a 100% volunteer-led organization that partners with non-profits to launch an in-person, one-on-one mentorship program. The program trains mentees, helping them develop professional and life skills. Having these skills encourages mentees to be confident and to pursue higher education, scholarships, work opportunities, and rewarding relationships. The professional and life skills complement the entrepreneurship and creative skills Sweet Dreams members gain through Turning Heads and Sweet Dreams. After months of hard work developing RisingLeaders’ framework and program, we launched a pilot program in March 2013 in partnership with Sweet Dreams.
RisingLeaders mentors and mentees meet on select Saturdays at Sweet Dream’s workshop in San Francisco’s Mission District. The group setting provides a fun, safe and collaborative environment for both mentors and mentees. Each session has a distinct theme and consists of a planned workshop hosted by one of RisingLeaders’ mentors, in addition to one-on-one meetings. So far, we’ve covered resume writing, goal-setting, drafting Linkedin profiles, defining Myers Brigg personality types, scholarship brainstorming… and we’re just getting started. We have many more exciting topics planned for the upcoming year, and we want to spread the word!
In just a few months, the results from the mentor encouragement and guidance have been incredible. For example – Melissa C. launched her very own weekly cooking blog, Nancy M. received a prestigious scholarship, and Nancy C. discovered her love for Excel and ambitions to pursue accounting as a career. These are just a few examples, and we expect to show off more exceptional achievements this coming year.
Stay tuned, and thanks for all your support!