Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Love What You Do

I heart my job

I am celebrating 4 years in this role with TeamMates.  Almost 15 years ago, I became a mentor in Geneva Public Schools.  After that, I helped start and coordinate our chapter in Hebron, later serving on the board of directors.  My favorite role with TeamMates though, is that of a mom.  Observing the relationship build between Lauren (now a senior in high school!) and Ellie (who is 80 years young) is one of the most heartwarming and reassuring experiences I've had as a parent.

I love my work.  The passion for my organization is evident, but there is much behind it.  It is a joy to bring people together, especially when you know lives are going to be changed because of a simple concept:  show up, listen, and encourage the good.  That's all.  It's that simple.  The mentoring relationship empowers both mentor and mentee to experience that:  learning and growing together.

I'm also honored to be part of making a difference and people doing what they say they are going to do.  Not just sitting around talking about it, but making it happen.  From the legacy started by our founders, the leadership of our executive team, the partnerships with schools and communities, the commitment and enthusiasm of our coordinators, and the dedication of our mentors, mentees, and parents - it's an incredible movement.  The ripple effect of TeamMates goes far beyond the simplicity of an hour a week, it provides a momentum of change.  Change for the good.

Here's a TeamMates blog post regarding our presentation at the National Mentoring Conference.  

National Mentoring Summit – Our Presentation

A few days ago we wrote about the things we learned on our trip to Washington DC. Today we wanted to tell you about the opportunity Suzanne and Allyson had to present on Strengths-Based Mentoring. After telling the audience a little about TeamMates, we showed a video of Tom Osborne discussing the importance of recognizing what people are good at. You can watch a similar video here.

In the presentation, Allyson discussed how TeamMates builds a strengths culture. At TeamMates, we are rolling out the project to a small number of chapters each year to ensure everyone is adequately prepared and trained. Through training and education, mentor and mentee assessments, 24 week strengths exploration, empowering schools and parents, and activities and celebrations.

Allyson used her energy and passion for recognizing the good in others to empower the audience to do the same. She discussed the importance of emphasizing a student's strengths and the effect this has on their levels of hope and overall wellness.

This was an exciting opportunity to show the mentoring world what TeamMates is doing to positively impact the lives of students!




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