About three and a half years ago, I stumbled somewhat randomly across an organization that has since become a major part of my happiness. Twice a year, alongside volunteers and people looking to improve themselves and their career prospects, I embark on a 13 week journey. StreetWise Partners is a mentorship program that matches up underserved individuals with working professionals. Together, they work through a curriculum of resume writing, networking, public speaking, and preparing for job interviews. As a group, we get together once a week and outside of sessions, the mentor/trainee group work together on assignments.
The most striking aspect has been the growth in confidence that trainees exhibit as they work through the StreetWise material with their mentors. They have the drive and the talent, but many need someone in their corner who’s done it before. The experience our mentors bring to the table and the coaching and encouragement gives the trainees the extra push they need to reach their potential.
I kept coming back to volunteer because I saw how well it worked. I’m still regular contact with some of the trainees I’ve worked with as a mentor or a group officer and it’s exciting to watch their careers and prospects grow and know that we played a part.
Give what you can and help level the playing field in employment.
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