Tess Pellegrini – Northeastern University Mentor
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m from Chelmsford, MA and I am a 3rd year business student at Northeastern University in Boston. I love both playing and watching pretty much any sport. I’m a big Patriots fan! I love traveling and have studied abroad in both Italy and Ireland. I’m a big foodie so I love trying different food while I travel.
How did you first find SWSG?
I heard about SWSG from an alum of the program who couldn’t stop gushing about it. It was my freshman year and I was looking for a program that would provide a community at school since Northeastern was so big. It was an added bonus that I could give back to the surrounding communities of Boston. When I got to campus and met the SWSG girls at the club fair I was hooked instantly from their friendliness, openness and kindness- I couldn’t wait to get started.
What keeps you coming back to SWSG each mentoring season?
I keep coming back to mentor because this program has offered everything I could have hoped for and more. My peer mentors have been some of the most inspirational women I’ve met at college and have driven me to be the best I can be. No matter what year you are they welcome you with open arms and I felt accepted right away. When you go mentor with the girls every week and they scream and run to give you a hug as if they haven’t seen you in years it just melts my heart. The best part is to see their individual growth throughout the semester; some girls may start closed up and too shy to talk and by the end they are little chatter boxes talking about how they can make change in their own communities.
SWSG has given me a stable community of women I know I can turn to for anything. Whether it’s help in a class, a patient friend to talk me through a problem or just a fun group to go to brunch. I know I wouldn’t have had such a great start to my college experience without this dynamic group of women. Each week I’m so excited to visit the school to see our girls and an hour and a half always seems to fly by. Being on the e-board this past year as a cohort leader has given me greater responsibility in the chapter and allowed me to dedicate more time to making our weekly meetings with the girls as meaningful and fulfilling as possible. As a result of being on the e-board, I have also learned how to become a better leader and manage my time efficiently.
What is something that you have learned from the girls that you mentor?
I have learned that they are like little sponges that yearn to learn. I love how much they surprise me. There are days when we bring up a topic, such as Malala and her story and we can’t get to the activity we have planned because they want to talk about how girls have the right to go to school just as much as boys. Then we go off discussing how they want to band together during recess to make an all girls soccer team that will beat the boys. They are energetic, passionate and loving towards each other.
Do you think your experience at SWSG has influenced what you are thinking about doing after college or your major at college?
I have loved dedicating my time to mentoring the girls as well as the new freshman coming in to the program. The skills that I have built through the SWSG program have enabled me to become both a stronger leader and team player. I am just about to start my first co-op through Northeastern. So although I am just beginning on my career path and I am not sure where it will yet lead me, I am confident that the skills I have learned here will make me a better employee for any company.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience as a mentor?
Initially, I thought we were just there to teach them about the bio that week with the intention to help them grow into strong, influential women, but I have been pleasantly surprised to see they give so much back to us. Each session with the girls has helped me to grow to be more open-minded, patient and brightens my week!