Donna Shines, Executive Director and CEO, The Mentoring Network, Inc.
May 15th, 2018
Posted In: National Mentoring Month Blog Series
With the generous founding support of AT&T, MENTOR launched the Summit Fellowship Program in 2016 to provide professional development scholarships to mentoring program leaders facing financial constraints to attend our National Mentoring Summit. In 2017, thanks to additional investments, MENTOR expanded the Program and provided fifteen scholarships to dedicated leaders from mentoring programs operating with a budget of $150,000 or less.
In the Summit Fellows Spotlight series, the 2018 Fellows reflect on their experiences at the Summit and the lessons they’ve brought back to their local communities and programs.
Q: Why was it important for you to attend the National Mentoring Summit, and how did you think that it would impact you and your organization?
A: It was important to have this opportunity to be in the presence with, and connect to, truly passionate people who care deeply about the power of mentoring in all of its forms. What we all have in common is the focus on connecting human-to-human and the energy that that brings to our communities. Mentoring shows us that when we focus on the ‘people’, not the ‘thing’, and take the time to truly ‘hear’ another’s story we can make this world more humane for all living things and begin to find out what we have together that none of us have on our own. I was excited to share our organization’s efficiency, effectiveness and unique way of looking at our work through eyes of joy and abundance, rather than fear and scarcity and to connect and learn from others as they are working in their passion.
Q: What did you learn from the Summit that you have brought back to your organization?
A: Coming back to Idaho I have been able to share the many stand-out stories that I saw and heard through other summit participants, as well as the multitude of ways that mentoring is created and being practiced in other communities in our country and around the world. I have reached out to some of the people that I was able to get to know a bit deeper, and will continue to do this over the next 6 months via ZOOM so we can be face-to-face and build on-going sharing and support with one another.
Q: Why is it important to support and provide mentoring practitioners with professional development and peer networking opportunities?
A: Professional development makes it possible for mentoring practitioners, business supporters, and philanthropists to come together and discover the immense difference and great value that real ‘face time’ brings to all aspects of our world – increased productivity, sense of belongingness and value, safety, health, and resiliency. The networking is priceless. I have multiple people I have kept in touch with and will be reaching out to for more conversation/ideas/collaboration.