This word goes to my mentees, because they have added value to my life that I never expected. I took a challenge for myself in mentoring the youth for my old high school. It was the mentorship program hosted by the Digital Business Academy, which I am an Alumni for! I was so nervous meeting them, I didn’t even really have a set career. I was still then figuring out what I was set to do. It scared me to think, that how can I be a mentor if I am not the kind of person who has a set corporate job. I went to college, but after graduation I became a mom. I left my hotel job to be a mother to my kids. My thought of my life when I started the program, felt like I had no value to present to them. I was working a job to make ends meet for us financially but it wasn’t what I knew I would do my whole life. I was working overnight which I pretty much hated, but still rebranding in my side business. They asked me questions that made me question what I was doing with my own life. 27 years old then, I was unsure how can I be a mentor if I am still questioning my journey as a somewhat “thriving” creative mompreneur.
My mentees were complete opposites, but I loved them both uniquely. Christina, a reserved girl who has a passion for interior and costume designing. She reminded me of me when I was in high school, quite shy and questionable about her future. I started an activity with these girls to get to know them deeper. It questioned about their success, failures and future. It was a way to see how they perceived themself and a way of how I can use what they share and find activities into our program. She particularly didn’t have much that made her feel successful in all her life. She represented more of her failures. My heart drew so close to her, because I felt the same way in high school. Trying to find acceptance from people and when I lost friends, I felt I failed myself. There were plenty of times where I did things, I don’t think were my own decisions. I never really gained much value doing things because it’s what others wanted. It became somewhat unfulfilling. I wasn’t that smart kid in school, but what I felt I did as a person, was to be true to my heart and to always show kindness to others. I believe God placed me as her mentor to add value of positivity, change and hope for her. To showcase to her that whatever dreams you have and passions, they are achievable. She opened my eyes to believing in my own passions that I feared and was one of my inspirations to quit my hotel job. I wanted to show her when you pursue your dreams, even when you have people you may think holds you back, you can do it. To pursue your dreams, even if it means to take the ultimate risk. I am still on my journey in pursuing my creative business. Doing things I now find more fulfilling. There was nothing I could show them like my “daily” work job because my job was at home. My career was being a mom, wife, and believing wholeheartedly in my purpose through creating, connecting and inspiring others. When we would talk about art and design, her face would light up and that made me so happy. I felt the passion in her. I felt the drive in her. I felt the hope in her. That is when I felt, I needed to bring my friend, Andrea, who I believe is a beautiful designer. She started her hobby in photography and found love in fashion designing. She inspired her and showcase to her that we must live in what makes us happy. No matter what people say, when you have a family that don’t agree, when you do what makes you passionately happy, nothing can replace that kind of value. I was set for Christina to instill hope in her. To show her that even with my experiences of struggles and insecurity, we have to go through them to not let it break us but build us. I was given her as my mentee so she can teach me too...she added value that I have the potential to change, to allow hope to someone who may have felt they didn’t have. It opened my eyes to give my time and whole life experience to someone. It was an experience that allowed me to gain something so valuable. If you are reading this, you succeed in allowing me to openly live my passion no matter the struggles. You succeed in allowing me to represent you as your mentor. You have given me so much hope to live in what I love to do and my purpose. Christina, believe in what makes you happy, find hope in the hard times, always grow and never lose sight of your passion.
Jennifer, my other mentee, complete opposite from Christina. Jennifer, a girl way wise beyond her years. So driven, passionate, determined and very knowledgeable. She was another me too. I saw myself through Jennifer by her confidence, her drive and most importantly her faith. God placed her in my life, so I can continue to allow and guide her through a spiritual journey. We connected on a level that I felt God worked through us. I am not much of a prayer… but I took that chance to pray with her one meeting after teaching her calligraphy and it moved me. I never would have thought the words that God sent me spoke to her. She wrote in her thank you card to me that she appreciated our journey of faith together. That made me tear. I thought I was busy in high school dancing, but she is a pageant contestant/winner, does kung fu, works, opened her own nonprofit business and goes to school full time. With the amount of activities this girl has, she still questioned her future in what she wanted to do. When I mentioned I saw her through me, it was the entrepreneurial spirit I have now that is in her. Only 16 years old! She made me feel like wow, I wish I had that at 16. But it also made me appreciate the journey I went to be where I am now. When I was teaching her calligraphy, she barely had any art experience. I felt in so much joy, that I was able to teach her something that not all girls her age get the chance to learn. Because they don’t get that opportunity. It opened my eyes to who I want to teach more calligraphy to, that’s the youth. Jennifer, you may not know what you are meant to do but have this idea. All I can say as a mentor, is continue your drive to help others. Continue to put your heart into your faith and allow God to lead your way. You are another inspiration to my life as a mentor because you made me see that God is more real. You allowed me to be vulnerable in faith and step outside of my own comfort zone to lead you through and with God through any challenges and blessings. Be you, always grow with faith and don’t ever lose the entrepreneurial spirit God has given you; that is your gift.
When you realize you have done something that impacts another person’s life, it’s so valuable. It was my experience with them that made me feel so blessed for this opportunity. It’s so rewarding that money can’t even buy. If you have the opportunity to be selfless in your life, do it and share your experiences, your time to someone younger than you. Our youth needs our life’s journey, advices, guidance and someone there to just be there. My husband does this every damn day, and I am so freaking proud. I am also proud of all the people in this world who continues to allow change to any youths or others. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When you do that, you add value to someone else and not just them but to you.