Throughout my life, I have been privileged to call many folks mentors, many who I came across in my role as a student. In the third grade, I had a wonderful teacher who showed me and my classmates what it was to truly be compassionate, caring, invested, and committed. She would go above and beyond her scope and had such a unique teaching style – you could quite literally feel her passion for educating and supporting youth.
As I moved into high school, I built a strong bond with my guidance counselor. He would always open his door to me and genuinely expressed interest in what I had to say and the dreams I held for myself. He assisted me with college applications and promoted me to be the best version of myself. He had a relatable approach and sincerely cared about our connection. Naturally, I followed in his footsteps and attended UMASS Dartmouth, his alma mater, a reflection of how truly impactful his mentorship was to me.
When I attended grad school, there were several professors I build connections with. One professor helped me navigate some job-related soul searching. She and I remain connected today and I am blessed to call her a friend. These are not only relationship that have stuck with me, but feelings that were instilled in me by the caring adults around me that I will carry in my heart forever.
By and far my biggest mentor in life was my dad. The life lessons, values, work ethic, and morals he instilled in me, have shaped me to be the person I am today. He was so generous in all ways you can be. I watched him model what it was to be a good partner, family member, businessman, community member, friend. No matter what hat my dad wore, he modeled it well! He instilled so many valuable life lessons not only in me, but countless other people he has mentored along the way. Reflecting on the mentors that have touched my life in various ways and the stories I have to share provoked a lot of emotion.
Mentoring is such a simple act or notion with such a hugely intense and powerful outcome. I think a lot of us can say we wouldn’t be where we are today without the folks that we had in our corner, rooting us on. I am forever thankful for the folks that were in my corner, believing in me and helping me pave and travel the path to where I am today!