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Mentee Spotlight: Interns Julia & Semina

Mentoring is an invaluable benefit for Pass the Torch mentees– whether they are Project Grow college students or Developing Professionals. But while mentors provide important guidance for women navigating their careers, there are some road blocks that are harder to overcome such as financial stresses and debt.

For this reason, Pass the Torch for Women Foundation is in the process of establishing a need-based mentee fund to support mentees as they navigate both their financial independence and their careers. Our Mentee Spotlight fundraising campaign to finance the fund will be ongoing for the next 8 weeks, and we will be featuring different mentees each week. This week it’s the interns: Administrative Intern Semina Penic and Communications Intern Julia Bluhm.

Semina and Julia were both drawn to Pass the Torch for Women Foundation because they are passionate about the Foundation’s mission. Semina is a senior at Indiana University Purdue University, majoring in Health Services Management. Julia is a senior at Butler University, studying Digital Media Production. Both of them have been able to be matched with mentors during their time as interns.

“My mentor has given me advice on everything from applying to jobs, to being more confident in the workplace as an introverted person,” Julia said about her mentorship experience so far. “It helps you feel supported during the daunting process of starting your career.”

Semina agrees that her involvement in Pass the Torch has helped her feel more supported, and self-assured. “Pass the Torch for Women has taught me to be strong and confident in everything I do,” she said. “I have learned how to be intentional to achieve the best results and the importance of being passionate about my career.”

Julia hopes that she can use her experience as a Pass the Torch for Women intern to get a job doing communications and marketing for a non-profit organization.

Once Semina graduates, she hopes to work for an employer who creates an empowering environment for women where she can help others and plans to further her education within the next 2 years. Semina’s time at Pass the Torch has lead her to a newfound passion for philanthropy, which has pushed her to keep her options open post graduation

While they are both excited to start their careers, they know that not everything will be easy. For examples, financial stress is something that almost every millennial entering the workforce can relate to.

“As someone who’s interested in working in a non-profit, it can be hard because most internships I’m interested in are not paid,” Julia said. “That makes it hard to pay bills and build savings while I’m in college and preparing for life after graduation.”

If the fundraiser is successful, a need-based mentee fund could have a huge impact on mentees like Julia and Semina. The fund would award mentees with scholarships to cover some of their financial necessities such as student loan debt or childcare. This would allow them to focus on advancing their careers and accomplishing their goals.

“A need-based fund would offer a great deal of support for all mentees,” Semina said. “Knowing these resources are available could lessen the burden and pressure of day to day life issues that arise. This shows the true dedication of Pass the Torch to help every woman, way beyond mentoring.”

“A fund like this would be monumental in giving mentees the safety net they need,” Julia said. “It can feel impossible to take risks with your career to reach your goals when you’re constantly worrying about money.”

Through our fundraiser with Todah, no one has to donate more than $350 for the mentee fund to become a reality. Any amount you can give, whether it’s $2 or $100, will help us provide a stronger support system for our mentees.This is your chance to pass the torch to women! Donate here and start making a difference in the lives of women navigating their careers. We are grateful for your support.