How SCI AmeriCorps members make a difference as mentors

In honor of national Mentoring Month this January, I decided to look into how some of our very own SCI AmeriCorps members are making a difference as mentors in their community. Both Patience Misner and Bridget Peters are SCI AmeriCorps members serving in Lynn, however at different organizations. Patience serves with Girls Inc. of Lynn and Bridget serves with the Lynn Food and Fitness Alliance. As Youth Leadership Coordinators (YLCs), they spend the day navigating the role of mentor and creating positive, empowering relationships with youth. 

Patience and Bridget both have similar definitions of what it means to be a mentor - someone who leads by example and strives to build relationships with mentees through trust, education, and positive encouragement. Key to their definition is also the fact that mentorship provides youth with a supportive role model who helps them understand that their voice matters and that they have the power to make a difference in their community.

Patience supervises twelve young women who make up a youth council at Girls Inc. of Lynn, called Part of the Solution. The council is a space for the women to voice their needs and receive support, as well as challenge their skills and set themselves up for success. Patience also mentors a high school senior student through the College Mentoring Program, helping her throughout the college application process. In her own words, "Mentorship provides youth, especially disadvantaged youth, a positive, steady, strong, role model. It wasn't until I was in college that I had my first strong, female role model. Mentorship at Girls Inc. of Lynn encourages hope, opens doors of various possibilities, and helps break down gender stereotypes and hopefully, one day, breaks the glass ceiling."

Bridget also supervises a youth council at Lynn Public Schools - The School Food Advisory Council, made up of seventeen high school students. She is both an adviser and a mentor to the students, supporting them to meet their needs and help pave their way toward success. She encourages a mentor-mentee relationship built upon trust and respect, where the youth have someone in their life who consistently acts with good character so that they can become the best version of themselves.

Patience and Bridget are both prominent examples of what it means to be a mentor to the youth of today - through their service, they are sparking inspiration and forging the way for a new generation of strong, empowered role models.