Business helps local youth thrive

January was National Mentoring Month, and we are continuing to highlight a number of perspectives on mentoring, events, and ways you can get involved in the field. Today’s post is from Rachael J. Chambers, Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring at For Kids Only. It is a profile of a mentor from Ignite Award winner DePuy Synthes of Johnson & Johnson.

The field of mentoring, including select supporters, was celebrated at Youth Mentoring Day at the State House on Jan. 16.  DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson was the winner of the business Ignite Award, and was nominated by TASC (Taunton Area School Career) for their support of mentoring. DePuy Synthes has been involved with TASC since the organization's inception in 1995.  They continue to supply TASC with mentors from a pool of several Johnson & Johnson companies located in Raynham, Massachusetts.

UntitledMentor Mary Ann Jablonski is a Johnson & Johnson employee who has been a dedicated mentor for six years through TASC. She says, “I enjoy meeting such interesting and diverse students each year and seeing them gain a deeper understanding of what different careers mean.  I love seeing the 'light go on' when they find the perfect fit for themselves. It’s also been fun to learn along with my mentee about career options that hadn't been exposed to myself directly before, such as video animation and event planning.”

Although her passion and commitment towards mentoring has been rewarding, Mary has faced a few challenges as a working professional.  She says, “It’s hard to find the time to mentor and still get my 'day job' done, especially with business travel that can’t always be arranged around mentoring plans.  I try to be as transparent as I can with my mentees and let them know ahead of time this may happen and it usually works out OK.”

With so much experience in mentoring, Mary has learned the importance of communication and the building of trust with her mentees.  They understand her need of flexibility so she can commit to the required mentoring sessions.  She is an example of a mentor who is committed to both her professional career and time with mentees.  There are many people like Mary at DePuy Synthes who have dedicated their time to mentoring. Without the support from DePuy Synthes and Johnson & Johnson, Mary and others like her would not be able to balance their career and commit to volunteering.

It is wonderful to know that businesses are making a difference in our communities by encouraging employees to mentor or volunteer.  DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson exemplifies a business that makes a difference in their communities. Congratulations on their Ignite Award!