To successfully launch the student mentees in their professional career and to provide employers with a qualified pooled of ethnically diverse candidates. We achieve this mission by:
- Providing one-on-one and online mentoring to high school and college students;
- Encouraging the mentees to excel by providing advice, support, and professional, academic, and social guidance;
- Exposing the mentees to professional and career opportunities.
The FWA’s mentoring activities began in 1985-86 at Murry Bergtraum High School. We developed the one-on-one mentoring model that achieved recognition as a model program from Harvard University. In 2001-02 the model was expanded to college students at Baruch College where we created a career oriented program. The committee is currently expanding the model to online mentoring through the development of a web-based career development community.
One-on-one mentoring. Pairs are recommended to meet in person at least monthly and to be in contact via phone, email and texting at least weekly. Online mentoring of a “neighborhood” will include 5-8 mentees. Time commitment to vary depending on the neighborhood activities and assignments. Leadership positions for program/event development and planning; mentor recruiting; communications and publicity. Leadership group meets monthly.
- Eight academic year events for Baruch mentees: Professional development subjects; panel discussions; breakfasts with FWA corporate supporters.
- Four academic year events for MBHS mentees including college visit; professional/business etiquette; SAT prep; computer literacy and financial literacy.
- Four events including mentors/mentees from both programs: holiday event; fun event; mentor only meeting; and mentor recruiting cocktail party.
Message from the Committee Co-chairs
Mentoring a student is the most powerful influence you can have on anyone’s professional future. Mentoring is both rewarding and fun; you develop a relationship with the younger generation. Mentoring provides the opportunity to meet and network with your peers and expand your own network.
Recent Event Highlight
Mentors and mentees from the combined programs enjoyed lunch and a performance of West Side Story. The event gave the high school mentees a chance to meet and interact with the college mentees and ask questions and seek advice. The college mentees had an opportunity to share their experiences with the younger students. All the mentors were able to compare notes and network with each other. The play’s theme was also very relevant to the students. The Baruch lunches provide nourishment beyond the edible kind. Mentees experience panel discussions and presentations on diverse careers, as well as on topics such as networking; communications and presentations; non-traditional careers; business etiquette; office politics.
The combined programs also enjoy an annual scavenger hunt at a NYC cultural institution. Last spring the group visited the Bronx Zoo and through the hunt learned interesting facts about the zoo and its inhabitants. The group is divided into teams, each consisting of a mix of mentors and mentees; the teams compete to complete the hunt information and the winning team receives prizes. Besides having fun, mentors and mentees need to coordinate their team efforts and cooperate to complete the hunt.
The Committee mentors a total of 50-60 students each year. The group is economically, culturally and ethnically diverse, reflecting the demographics of each school. Many of the students are from immigrant families and are the first to complete high school and/or college. All our mentees graduate from high school.
- Almost 100% of the high school mentees go on to a 4-year college.
- We have a 100% graduation rate for our Baruch mentees.
- Several of our Baruch mentees have now become FWA members, and, give back to the academic community by becoming mentors in the Murry Bergtraum program.
One of our mentees who started as a Murry Bergtraum mentee, attended Baruch where she was accepted into the FWA mentoring program. She became our student speaker at the annual dinner and is now working successfully in international marketing at Estee Lauder.
Views from Mentors
“I attend an FWA cocktail party and decided that night to become a mentor. I also met a recent grad from the Baruch program and gave her my card. I told her to call me when she was ready to work in public accounting. Long story short, we hired her and she has been a real shinning star here. She recently came to see me to tell me she passed all four parts of the CPA exam. She is beaming with pride and confidence and is looking forward to facing more challenges in her career. I am so happy to be able to share her joy. It is such a pleasure to see our young mentees do so well and shows how successful the mentoring program is.”
“Recently, my mentee asked for advice concerning a workplace situation she had. I found it so helpful to hear her perceptions and then discuss what I thought might be her manager’s perspective. As I did this, it gave me new insights on why there might be gaps between staff and management expectations and how to bridge or even reduce possible misunderstandings. On the job I’m reminded to be more aware of, and work harder to take on other perspectives and not make assumptions about where people are.”
“I believe that my participation in the program allowed all of the mentees to see that someone of color, just like them, has achieved success in the corporate world. I believe that my presence provided evidence that it is possible. The more mentors we have, the more kids can see what a business/professional environment is.”
Views from Mentees
“My mentor is the greatest. She taught me some strategies for interviews. We role-played doing interviews. We also went to the library and surfed through the internet. As part of the whole FWA, we went ice skating together; we had a lot or fun. She also helped me to find a summer job. I cannot find enough words to thank her for the attention she has given me.”
“My mentor has changed my view of financially successful women and also my plans for the future. We’ve been to plays, museums and restaurants together … I will never forget the discussions we’ve had over iced tea and lemonade about what colleges to apply for and what majors to choose. Words cannot express how grateful I am to her for being not only my mentor but a role model, a confidant and a sister to me.”
Interested in Mentoring?
There are still openings at both Baruch College and Murry Bergtraum High School for FWA members who would like to change the lives of young women by offering them professional guidance and sharing some enjoyable social and professional events. If interested, please contact the Mentoring Co-Chairs about our Mentoring programs.
Beth Dorfman at email@example.com and
Françoise Jeanpierre at firstname.lastname@example.org.