We recently launched our public awareness campaign to promote the Mayor's Mentoring Movement, an initiative with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to recruit 1,000 new mentors to serve Boston youth. The campaign shows real mentors who have joined the movement and are helping to support and guide young people in Boston.
Today, we feature a face from the campaign: Liz Miranda, a mentor through the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, one of the Mayor's Mentoring Movement partner programs.
Why do you think mentoring is important?
In my lifetime, I had many mentors to help me deal with the many curveballs life throws at you and each of them had a huge impact on my life. Some ensured I learned valuable skills through programs and youth employment. Others helped me think about college and helped me every step of the way through college. Some helped me with family challenges. Each left an impression on me and growing up in my community was NOT easy. If it wasn't for my mentors, I really don’t know if I would be sitting here as a Wellesley College Alumna from Roxbury, or as the Director of Youth Leadership & Development at DSNI- the same agency where I got my first job. Mentoring to me is critical to success in life. It has been critical to mine. My life has gone full circle and it’s been such an amazing experience.
Why did you decide to get involved?
I decided to get involved in the Stronger Leaders, Brighter Futures program at DSNI because I live and grew up in the neighborhood. I also currently reside in my community. I was running a successful business, yet I was missing the fulfillment of really investing in my community through its young people. The mentoring program paired me up with two different young people, both who had similar life stories as mine.
What have you learned through being a mentor?
I’ve learned that mentorship is a lifelong commitment. When it's done well, both parties involved gain so much. I learned that the hardest to reach young people need mentors too. Those complex and challenging relationships often lead to amazing transformations. You just have to be patient and be dedicated.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your mentee?
I recently walked the neighborhood with my mentee and went to a few community events. We got a chance to enjoy the summer day, visit a college workshop and a community cookout. We got a chance to talk. I love introducing her as my mentee and love when she is so proud to call me her mentor. My favorite thing before that was when we went shopping and went to the DSNI 30th Anniversary Gala---she felt like the star she was.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved in mentoring?
There is nothing better to do with your time than to help a young person see the world differently. Don't you want the opportunity to actually transform your life and someone else's? That’s mentoring in a nutshell.
Are you ready to join Liz in the movement? Sign up today!