As part of National Mentoring Month, we are highlighting some of our partnerships that make our work possible. SWSG had the opportunity to speak with Priscilla Cohen, the Executive Director of the FAO Schwarz Family Foundation.
SWSG is hosting a two-year FAO Schwarz Family Foundation Fellow in our Headquarters office in Boston. The fellowship is designed for recent college graduates in order to train future leaders in education and youth development as well as to strengthen high-quality youth-serving organizations by providing both direct & indirect service.
SWSG: Why did the FAO Schwarz Family Foundation select SWSG for its fellowship?
Cohen:  There are four primary reasons why SWSG stood out as a high-quality youth- organization.
1. SWSG has a unique model of providing elementary girls with skills, role models and relationships by pairing them with college mentors who are also supported by young professional women in Boston.
2. SWSG has strong leadership that was first demonstrated by its founder, Lindsay Hyde.
3. SWSG is a data-driven organization that is focused on results.
4. It seemed like the opportune time to invest in SWSG with the growth the organization has gained in the past few years. We thought a FAO Schwarz Family Foundation Fellow could be an important asset to SWSG’s efforts.
SWSG: What speaks to you about the SWSG mission?
Cohen: I believe that relationships, skills, and role models are essential to helping girls succeed. I’m particularly struck by the part in your mission which talks about building a community of women. SWSG demonstrates this through its unique multi-generational model of supporting girls, college women, and young professional women.
SWSG: Why do you think mentoring is important? Have you had a mentor who impacted you?
Cohen: I think that mentoring is important because of the one-on-one relationship that is formed with an adult. One mentor who impacted me was my high school’s college counselor and advisor to the high school newspaper. She listened to me, helped me to develop my writing & interpersonal skills, and supported me in the transition from high school to college.