Celebrating Mentorship Month
January is Mentorship Month! Members of the GEM community know how vital mentorship is –especially for high school girls facing socio-economic barriers. But did you know that mentorship relationships built through GEM can be life-changing for both mentees and mentors?
This year, we're celebrating mentorship month by highlighting some of our incredible mentors and their mentees.
First, meet Haleema and Alexa who had this to say about what they've learned while working together.
According to Haleema, “the best part of having a mentor in my dream career is that I can get a real-life glimpse into what it truly means to be a physician. Alexa talks to me about what her day-to-day life is like – including time with patients, management, and business operations. She has exemplified that physicians can have lives outside of their work and is someone I readily go to for post-secondary support and book recommendations!"
Alexa noted that “connecting with Haleema has been a great opportunity for me to think about how I talk to others about the world – she is thoughtful and brings great insights to our conversations. Her writing, which had been published widely, is engaging and has inspired me to think more deeply about how I can be similarly effective. She’s also got a green thumb and has given me some tips on keeping my houseplants alive, which is a work in progress..."
Next up we have Shirley and Lipi who spoke on the most important thing the other person has taught them so far.
According to Shirley, “the most important thing Lipi taught me is that it is okay to depend on people, especially adults sometimes. Often when I was growing up, I was expected to take care of my problems by myself. I always expected perfection from myself and had thought that other people thought the same. Lipi taught me that it was okay to have things that I couldn't fix on my own and that it okay was to let someone help you.”
Lipi noted that “Shirley continually reminds me of the power of levity and humour; something I've come to cherish during these darker times in our world. During one of our video calls, Shirley shared stories with me about how she finds time to be silly with her friends during the winter – playing in the snow, tobogganing, the works! Admittedly, it took longer to think up an example than I would have liked. But soon thereafter, Shirley and I found ourselves in fits of laughter; reaching across the chasm of digital distance through smiles and funny stories.”
Now meet Sarah and Hilary, who reflected on how their relationship changed their perspectives on the future.
Sarah expressed that before GEM, “my thoughts included anxiety and uncertainty about my future. Then a wise ball of sunshine face-timed her way into my life with boundless advice and laughter. I no longer feel that crippling, time-stopping fear about my future. Instead, I feel excited and empowered knowing that I have limitless potential. For reminding me of that, I have to thank my mentor, Hilary.”
According to Hilary, “I have done away with inaccurate notions of Generation Z because of our mentor/mentee relationship. Sarah is courageous, inspiring, and is deeply interested and involved in the world around her; all qualities that I strive to personally possess. I believe that Sarah and other mentees will implement positive change in the future, and I learn just as much (if not more) from her as she does from me. I’m so glad I decided to apply for this valuable opportunity.”
Last but not least, Nashia and Sidrah discussed what impresses them the most about each other.
Nashia shared: “Sidrah’s initiative to make change really impressed me. She worked very hard to be where she is now and took it step by step. A few years ago, she started her own business to introduce an improved service that was not being offered before. Her goal was to create a simple and efficient system in providing this service to make the lives of others easier. I am glad to say her business has come a long way due to her endless dedication and persistence.”
Sidrah remarked, “what impresses me most about Nashia is the resilience she has had throughout this tough time. When I was in high school, I wasn’t faced with the challenges of a pandemic, online learning and an entirely restructured system of cramming in classes in what is now called a ‘quadmester’ in addition to the normal stressors of being a high school student. I admire her for her positive attitude towards such changes and tackling them head on like a champ!”
Thank you to all 120 of our mentors and mentees for celebrating mentorship month with us!