National Mentoring Month

This January is the 15th Annual National Mentoring Month, a campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults.Big Shoulders Fund is proud to celebrate all of our amazing mentors. Some of our favorite mentors have shared with Big Shoulders why they love to mentor with our students! Meet Amy Drozda who is Big Shoulders Fund’s Director of Corporate Partnership and Outreach. This is Amy’s first year as a mentor. She mentors at St. Ailbe School on Chicago’s South Side to 6th grade Gallagher Scholars. Why did you choose to become a mentor? St. Ailbe Gallagher ScholarI chose to become a mentor because after working at the Big Shoulders Fund for eight years and completing my MBA I wanted to use my time to work directly with our students.  I am lucky to support our mission by organizing service days, working with our schools leadership and helping our amazing supporters get involved, but I have never gotten to spend time with the students.   The students are always the highlight of my visits and I was hoping by mentoring I could share some of the many things my parents blessed me with and interact with the students who I wake-up every day for. What is your favorite thing about mentoring? My favorite thing about meeting with my mentees is hearing their stories and what they are excited about.  They are so observant and always want to share. When I went on a field trip with them it was neat to see how excited they were that I had come to spend time with them.  It was amazing to share our favorite exhibits and experience something together.
Sometimes it is hard to realize you are making a difference or if the time you go matters, but it does.
This fall at the high school fair I was fortunate enough to meet one of my mentee’s parents. I always thought he didn’t want to be there and was just like, here is Ms. Amy again. However, when I met his mom and introduced myself she hugged me hard and said, “ Oh, you are his mentor.  He talks about you all the time and is so excited after your visits.”  The students touch my life so much. I only hope that I am helping them too.