Friday, May 29, 2009

Be a Mentor, Get a Mentor

Stand Out in the Crowd.......

Be Strong Smart and Bold.

I love that Girls Inc motto, helping all girls become Strong Smart and Bold! Yesterday I got to mentor 13 year old Santa Barbara resident, Breanna as part of the Girls Inc., Take Your Daughters To Work program. Breanna was not sure what she will become when she grows up.....but she loves English and she also loves animals so becoming a Veterinarian is one option for her.
We talked with other mentors and students yesterday. The girls were 13 years old, still pretty young to be career focused, but smart enoughto say yes to a program which enabled them to "go to a professional woman's job" and learn more about it. Other students at our table got to visit the "day in my life" of a kitchen designer, a cosmetologist and an advertising sales representative for the local newspaper. It was fun trying to explain to a 13 year old about Entrepreneurship and what an independent investor and a business coach is. But Breanna was smart, and she got the idea right away and didn't even seem to mind that I had suggested that it would take over 20 years for some people to gain enough experience in business to become an independent investor and business coach. I think she especially like the idea of working from a home office and the freedom to interact with my husband and our animals during the day: Just one of the perks of being an independent. It was fun to be a mentor yesterday for this one day future Vet or entrepreneur. I feel good that world is going to be in capable hands after "we" stop trying to run it!
I am pictured here a few years ago with one of my dearest friends and mentors, Dorothy Rogers.
Dorothy shared some of her life's lessons with me and others at SCORE as we helped create and leverage private fundraising for what had previously been a government funded program.
Dear Dorothy is in heaven now but I often look at this picture and remember how she mentored us in so many aspects of fund raising and how she got me so excited that I soon had made one of the biggest pledges and charitable gifts in my life. Dorothy was an enthusiastic dynamo who knew how to keep things fun yet how to fit into both conservative and liberal environments. Much of her professional life was spent in fund development for Universities on the east coast.....where she needed to fit in with the "old line" families yet work with faculty and students at the same time. She was extremely successful in generating support and enthusiasm.
Sincerity oozed from dear Dorothy whenever we met and I suspected in all she did. "You have to make a great case for support" Dorothy would tell us as we were discussing ways to leverage the U.S. Small Business Administrative funding for SCORE, the national free business consulting organization. She told us, no matter which worthy cause you were working to support.... "there are people out there just waiting to be properly informed about their opportunities to give." Note... not waiting to be begged for money, but given an "opportunity" to give.
My fundraising mentor also showed us how to set up a planned giving program, how to make the case and give donors options and how to properly thank supporters of all kinds. Over the years since Dorothy Rogers mentored us at SCORE dozens people have put SCORE in their will and for the past several years consistently, over one million dollars of private support comes into the oganization from the troops in the field aka Volunteers.
Dorothy and her successor Mark Dobosz knew how to Make the Case, and they also have been great mentors to me and lots of other leaders of leaders.
I am grateful for the many mentors I have had over the years and that is one of the reasons I said YES to Girls Inc. when asked if I wanted to participate in this years Take Your Daughter to Work Day.

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