I began mentoring twenty-seven years ago as a teen in my community as a Peer Educator for Got it Girls Inc. The program mentored at risk teen girls affected by sexual ,mental and physical abuse who had one or more parents absent due to drug addiction. As a peer educator I supported participants through daily check-ins, advocating and negotiations with caregivers for participants’ to be able to attend daily support groups, and advocated for basic hygiene necessities. I continued mentoring with nonprofits and educational organizations throughout my high school years.
While in college , it became evident to me that marginalized students did not have a grasp of policies. While waiting on my financial disbursement to purchase my books, I encountered a policy that prevented my funds being released or disbursed in a time frame that would allow me to turn in my assignments without penalty. I challenged the validity of this policy, citing my federal and state rights. The following semester during financial aid orientation I learned the policy was changed due to my advocacy. Tutoring was another resource I realized was not being utilized to its full capability. As an assistant to a counselor, I was able to research, market, evaluate and critique a pilot program created by the counselor called Pass the Torch. Pass the Torch began at a junior college and was later instituted in four universities through a 4.5 million dollar grant. By making changes to traditional policies and expanding resources, thousands have been able to improve their social and economic circumstances.
During various employment, the unequal treatment I have been subjected to, has exposed which allowed for the creation of positive outcomes through mediation and negotiation. The aforementioned social and economic advancements have fueled our passion to provide resources and strategies to help individuals, families and non profits change the game.
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