Saying Goodbye to Mena

Seedling Mentor ProgramSeedling_Lunch prepares and supports community volunteers like me in a school-based, research-driven relationship that has measurable results. Since it is based on best practices for mentoring children, it carefully teaches us how to begin, maintain and sometimes how to end a friendship with some of the most vulnerable children we will ever encounter. Continue reading

Mercy in Justice

Lady JusticeJustice has been on my mind for a long time.

Our older daughter is a lawyer who wants to be a prosecutor. She is getting a daily dose of the balance and big picture prosecutors must cultivate when working in the justice system. In some of her job interviews, the question, “What do you think justice is?” was specifically asked, and she had to articulate what she has observed and internalized as working justice. For her, it boiled down to trying to find the fairest and most restorative path for people through the justice system. Even in misdemeanor situations, she thinks long and hard about the balance between what her options are under the law, and what will be the most constructive for the person sitting in front of her. Continue reading

More Lessons from Mentoring

2014 Mentee and Me

My Seedling Mentee and Me

I have mentioned before that I mentor with an amazing program called Seedling Mentoring Program. My mentee is an 8-year-old Latina who is a child of an incarcerated parent. She is a sweet, smart little girl who has a vivid imagination and a load of potential, but she is also surrounded by barriers. Continue reading

Life Lessons from Mentoring

MentorPinAs I have shared in “Becoming a Very Best Thing,” I am mentoring a first grade girl this year through Seedling Mentor Program, a school-based, research driven and metrics based program that has great training and great support. This is a short award-winning video I think you will enjoy.

I come from a family that had its share of poverty and dysfunction, divorces and chaos. As an adult, I even had a dad in prison. The parallels between me and my little Mentee are many. You would think I would know everything I need to about how to communicate and behave constructively with her, but you would be wrong.

You see, I have forty plus years on her, and during that time I had a successful career, married a wonderful man, had two precious daughters, began my second career in philanthropy and along the way, I became financially comfortable and very removed from the culture of poverty and family crisis. I had to get re-indoctrinated and learn lessons from an adult perspective, and thank heavens, Seedling’s Promise assumes we all will need that and prepares us accordingly to be intentional mentors.

There are many books on the subject of the culture of poverty and Ruby Payne’s are “must reads” for anyone who really wants to explore it, but today I will share with you just a few things I learned this semester. Continue reading