Program highlight: Strong Women, Strong Girls

The Red Sox are in the home stretch of the regular season, and our Red Sox Mentoring Challenge is wrapping up for the year, too. Rachel Spekman is the Boston program manager at Strong Women, Strong Girls, another program participating in the challenge.

MMP: Tell us a little bit about your mentoring program and your role.

Rachel: The mission of Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG) is to utilize the lessons learned from strong women throughout history, to encourage girls and young women to become strong women themselves. By building communities of women committed to supporting positive social change, SWSG works to create cycles of mutual empowerment for women and girls. I am a Boston program manager, and as part of my role, I coordinate college students who serve as mentors for girls in grades 3-5. I work with the Tufts and Harvard chapters or about 60 students total.

MMP: Why do you feel mentoring is important?

Rachel: Mentoring is a critical skill for building relationships, role models, and developing skills. Per our model, we believe that relationships, skills and role models are essential to helping girls and women succeed. The SWSG model focuses on building these three areas for girls and women.

MMP: Your program is participating in this year’s Red Sox Mentoring Challenge, an initiative designed recruit more caring Massachusetts adults as mentors. Which Red Sox player do you think is the best mentor on the team?

Rachel: Jason Varitek because he demonstrates loyalty having been with the team for so long. He is also very involved in his community and always seems to be aligning himself with different non-profit organizations.

MMP: If you have personally been a mentor, tell us what that experience has been like.

Rachel: I have been a teacher and a mentor in the past and love the individual connections I’ve been able to make. There is nothing as rewarding and fulfilling as making a genuine connection with a child (or adult mentee!) The most important thing people should know about mentoring is that reliability is so critical because your mentee is depending on you to provide feedback, resources, and perhaps structure.

MMP: How can people learn more about mentoring opportunities with your organization?

Rachel: Go to our web site - we just won the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Communications Award! There are tons of resources, ways to get involved, pictures, and exciting things showcased on our website.