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“No matter where you are in your life, you can and should always maintain a teachable spirit. Be ready to look at things from different perspectives; every person you meet has something valuable to offer you, whether older or younger. “

Our Project Grow program sanctions mentoring relationships among college students and corporate mentors, which allows women the opportunity to connect and inspire each other through the structure of a “mentor/mentee” relationship. While there are multiple elements to the Project Grow Program such as strength-building modules, workshops, mentor-matching, events and more, the key component of the program is simple– connect with your respective mentor/mentee for at least an hour a month. While many relationships are proctored through phone calls, Google Hangout, Skype, etc., some matches take their relationship to the next level through meeting in person and establishing the connection and social support that is integral to Project Grow’s mission in creating empowered female leaders. Such is true for Project Grow Alum Shaquitta Dent and her mentor and 500 Circle member Lauren Flanagan, both of which attest to the benefits of the program and the importance of having empowering female relationships.

Shaquitta Dent
Lauren Flanagan

1. Why did you decide to join the Pass the Torch community? 

S: I joined the Pass the Torch community with hopes to expand my network and to grow professionally. I believe that growth comes from interacting with others.

L: I joined Pass the Torch for Women to connect with other professionals in the community, connect with like-minded women, and give back. It is so important to provide a lens into a more expansive view of our collective potential.

2. What was one positive outcome that you did not anticipate as a result of your involvement in the mentoring community?

S: One positive outcome that I did not expect was serving as a mentor to my fellow cohort. My academic journey served as a motivation to others and I am grateful that I could provide guidance and assistance to my fellow peers.

L: Of the various outcomes, all positive, one unexpected outcome in particular was the interaction of others within our Indianapolis community, outside of our Pass the Torch family.  I found our professional community was highly invested and engaged in supporting our mission.

3. What would be your advice for individuals hoping to facilitate a mentoring relationship?

S:My advice for individuals who hope to facilitate a mentoring relationship is to always be honest. Don’t be afraid to voice your expectations and to also be open to constructive criticism.

L: My advice is to cultivate relationships with people of all ages. No matter where you are in your life, you can and should always maintain a teachable spirit. Be ready to look at things from different perspectives; every person you meet has something valuable to offer you, whether older or younger.

4. Why do you think your mentoring relationship was so successful?

S: My mentoring relationship was successful because my mentor and I created a plan during our initial visit and followed through during the remainder of our three months. We’ve kept in touch beyond our scheduled three month required sessions as well.

L:Mentoring is a purposeful, intentional act of giving in which you choose to invest your time and share your knowledge and experience. It involves commitment and discipline, but most of all it demands a reciprocal willingness from both parties to be successful.

5. What was your favorite part in being matched?

S: My favorite part in being match was my mentor’s willingness to invite me into her professional and personal space. Our mentor/mentee relationship always felt genuine because of this aspect. Developing a level of trust was beneficial for me to grow and become more aware of how to carry myself in a professional community environment.

L: My favorite part was finding a new friend I could watch grow over… well, forever.  In the mentor-mentee relationship you have an obligation to set aside your own busy schedule and personal concerns and really listen to each other. When you are together make it a point to focus. This is time to really hear what another person is telling you, you just may learn something!

For more information on receiving your own mentor or mentee, please click here to join our community!

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