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Generation Peace:Join the Mentorship for Peace Class of 2012

5 January 2012 No Comment

Abby Smith

-  by Abby Smith

Happy New Year!! 2012 has arrived, and it is once again time to start taking applications for the Peace X Peace Mentorship Program that we launched in the fall of 2011. This program seeks to match professional women with an affinity for peace with young aspiring peacebuilders. We here at Peace X Peace find infinite value in mentorship, so we are looking forward to the next round of the program.

A recent study found that women say it is important to have a mentor and that most young women have been or are being mentored.  This same study shows that older women have not had the opportunities to be mentored that this generation has, which makes it all the more important to have this program. Mentorship is an opportunity to create connections across generational divides that otherwise might not be crossed. For a young woman, reaching out to someone you idolize or look up to as a role model is often intimidating. This program offers young women the opportunity to do that with dignity and comfort. The Peace X Peace mentorship program connects women based on several criteria to ensure a positive match, allowing the relationship to be easily formed and mutually beneficial.

Our just-completed pilot session had great success in matching eight pairs of women to connect in order to promote peace in future generations. As with any pilot program, we learned many of the things that we did well and also ways we can improve the program to make it more effective. We had excellent feedback from mentors and mentees alike. After reviewing these suggestions we revamped the mentorship application to ensure a higher quality match for mentors and mentees. We have also taken measures to ensure a commitment to the time frame we have set out, so that each participant is getting maximum benefit from the program. There will be more positive changes to come as we continue to develop this program to meet your needs.

Mary Beth Bognar, a mentee, had this to say about the program: “I feel very fortunate to have this resource and to have been selected for this program.” Her mentor provided information and resources to feed her dreams of traveling to Africa.

Jessica, another mentee in the program, said: “Through my mentor, I’ve learned that it is possible to have a balanced life as a peacemaker. Often this field can be consuming, with the plethora of essential work that needs to be done, but my mentor has shown me through her own life that balance is possible.” What a valuable lesson to learn early in her career!

While the mentees receive guidance and advice, this program positively impacts the mentors as well. One of the amazing women who participated as a mentor, Sannii Crespina-Flores, says this of her experience: “It allowed me to meet with a young woman who both shared her dreams and aspirations and also re-ignited my passion for sharing, and encouraged me to dig deeply into my own resources to answer questions she had.” When we connect women who have rich life experience with young women who are full of passion, we can create a power packed combination!

Another mentor in our program, Georgia, says this about mentorship, “Contact with younger people, especially those who are looking for their place, is always rewarding and enlightening.”

Whether you are a college student or a professional with 40 years of experience, this program is for you. If you want guidance on how to follow your passion, or if you need a little spark to re-ignite that passion, apply to be a mentee or mentor. We are accepting applications for the 2012 program until January 25, and we look forward to growing with you.

To apply, go to http://www.peacexpeace.org/about/mentor/

Also in this edition of PeaceTimes:

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