We would like to introduce Jenie Michael as our first ever Boston Mentor in the Spotlight! Jenie is a mentor at the Northeastern University (NU) chapter of SWSG and received The Above and Beyond Mentor Award this past spring at Strong Awards. She recently finished her six month co-op at our Boston office as the Communications and Development Assistant. Jenie has been a huge asset to the SWSG staff and her beaming presence in the office is hard to capture in words, but we will try to do her justice.
Jenie first got involved with SWSG in the fall of 2015 through an activities fair at NU where she connected with former Chapter Director Jennie Robbiano. Jenie M. and Jennie R. first bonded over their unique names and from there Jenie’s relationship with SWSG flourished. Now, she could not imagine her college experience without the SWSG community. Jenie’s cherishes the relationships she has fostered the girls she mentors. Recently, Jenie shared a memorable moment from mentoring this past program year. Jenie had a student who, for personal reasons, chose not to speak at all and was placed in a fairly large and talkative group. She had a difficult time connecting with this student who would regularly end up sitting apart from group, rarely contributing to the day’s activities. One week when the site had low attendance, Jenie had the opportunity to connect with the girl one-on-one. Jenie asked if she wanted to learn sign language and the girl’s face lit up in a way Jenie had never seen before. It was the first moment that Jenie saw this girl feeling empowered. Finally, being able to engage with this girl was a powerful moment for Jenie. Jenie described this a “SPARKS” moment, an inspiring moment during mentoring that connected Jenie to the SWSG mission.
Throughout my interview with Jenie, I was able to hear about the passion and dedication she has for this organization. Her eyes lit up whenever she talked about her girls or the experiences she has had with SWSG. I was lucky enough to be able to work with Jenie for the last month of her co-op and was struck by the respect and admiration the entire office staff had for her. During her time with us, Jenie was a key leader on large projects like our recent screening of the film “He Named Me Malala”. Jenie graciously took the lead on this major fundraising event and through her organizational skills, leadership tactics, and communication the event was a huge success. In the picture below, Jenie is at a fundraising function speaking about her dual experience as a mentor in the SWSG program, and a staff member in the office. Jenie is a natural leader and holds herself with such grace and poise.
Jenie – you are an amazing young woman and your girls are so lucky to have you as a mentor! Your passion and enthusiasm for SWSG and female empowerment seeps into every bit of work you do. You have made a lasting impact on the SWSG community. You have truly made longtime friends and connections here and we look forward to seeing what lies ahead for you. We wish you all the best!