To celebrate the successful conclusion of another great semester of mentoring, SWSG @ NU invited all of its mentors to a Holiday Celebration Party, featuring our first annual Gingerbread House competition. Each mentoring team was invited to bring their own decorations to adorn their mansions made of graham crackers. As I circulated the room, I listened in on different mentoring groups conversations. Stories from the previous day’s field trip, a journal entry worthy of being framed, or travels to and from sites that yielded numerous inside jokes could be heard from every team – all while gumdrops, Easy Mac, and dreidel cookies were lovingly stuck to newly constructed walls. It was obvious that the room was filled with “SWSG love” and I couldn’t help but smile for the whole two hours we spent together.
Much like the safe environment in mentoring, mentor meetings provide a space for friends to share, be supportive, and talk about the incredible girls we have the opportunity to serve. Knowing that a group of 33 women can gather together weekly in a place where all are appreciated and welcomed is unusual in the mind of some, but it is truly a cornerstone of SWSG’s success and retention of high-quality mentors. SWSG is incredibly empowering to all involved, and I am so appreciative for the culture a shared purpose creates – which can be felt at weekly meetings or Gingerbread House-offs alike.