May 24, 2024

INTELLECTUAL INK

A MAGAZINE FOR AVID READERS AND PROLIFIC WRITERS

“Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: A Conversation with Author C. Y. Marshall About Mentoring and Growth”

4 min read

Can you describe the goals and objectives of your mentoring program? What inspired you to start it, and what impact do you hope to achieve through this initiative?

The goal of R.O.S.E.B.U.D.S. (Realizing Our Strength and Excellence By Understanding Our Destined Success) Mentoring Program Inc. is to build our young girls into believing they are worthy, beautiful young ladies who can achieve and become anything they want to be. I was inspired to start my program over 20 years ago while working for a non-profit agency where I counseled pregnant and parenting teens. I found that they needed a safe, judgment-free zone to talk about the issues they were facing. I began to mentor pregnant and non-pregnant teen girls on the power of believing in yourself and loving yourself. The impact I hope to achieve is to continue inspiring and empowering girls who will pay it forward by being positive, productive citizens in their communities.

How do you identify and select mentees for your program? What qualities or qualifications do you look for in individuals who serve as mentors to ensure they can effectively support their mentees?

The selection process is usually done via an open house or sometimes a referral from someone who is in the program and knows of someone who can benefit. It is also by word of mouth and social media from flyers and information posted about the program. Workshops are also done in schools and other organizations such as the Salvation Army where the daughters and mothers have separate workshops on various topics. For those seeking to mentor, I look for authenticity in a person, willingness to commit and be consistent, a passion for empowering young girls, and a desire to give back to their community by building it up.

Could you share a success story or a specific example that illustrates the positive outcomes your mentoring program has had on a mentee’s personal or professional development?

Over the years, there have been many success stories. I have personally witnessed my young girls grow into college graduates with advanced degrees, nurses, serving in the military, licensed therapists, entrepreneurs, wives, mothers, and hard-working women. From the lessons taught and the values instilled, our girls have applied what they have learned and used it to become productive citizens of society. They are women who now give back to their communities by helping those who come behind them. It has been such an honor to watch young girls who were unsure of themselves and their direction in life become confident, strong women who can take the world by storm and make it their own.

In your experience, what are some common challenges or obstacles that both mentors and mentees may encounter during the mentoring process?

How do you address and mitigate these challenges with your program? With new mentees, sometimes the obstacle may be trust issues. They are unsure if they can open up, share, be honest, and feel as if they are in a place of safety. My job as the mentor is to be authentic from day one because young people can sense when you are not truthful. So, my goal is to be that oftentimes, one solid thing in their life that is true and consistent. Once a relationship has been established and they are comfortable, the window is now open for them to receive all that the program has to offer.

What strategies or methods do you employ to measure the effectiveness of your mentoring program? How do you ensure that it continues to meet the changing needs of both mentors and mentees over time?

I try to get as much feedback from the mentees and their parents or guardians as possible about how effective the program is for their child. However, the program has been challenged with low enrollment within the last few years. Before Covid, the program’s participation was more than 50%, but it has declined. We are working tirelessly to recruit new girls to the program. Since the program has moved to school locations and organizations, we have been able to service girls, but we desire to rebuild our numbers for our outside program. In the meantime, we continue to service girls and the community by providing workshops and resources.

The Domestic Violence Forum is our next upcoming event on October 15.

If someone wants more information or want to join, they can email rosebuds0612@gmail.com. We are actively recruiting girls. Open House will be Saturday, Oct. 30 from 1-3pm at 3615 N. 22nd St in North Philly.

Donations can be made to cashapp $Phillywriter12

We will be collecting non-perishable items for families at our school location for our Thanksgiving giveaway

We will also be collecting personal toiletries for the women and children at the Salvation Army

Collecting toys for our Christmas giveaway for the Salvation Army

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