I think I speak for college students nationwide when I insist that Saturday mornings are rough. Waking up before10:00 A.M. on a weekend for practically anything is difficult, especially a “training session.” By title, this too closely resembles the excruciating classes many of us endure all week long. Last week, I rolled out of bed, disheveled, to attend a 9:00 A.M.Executive Board Leadership Training Session with Pittsburgh’s SWSG leaders. The leadership training was composed of the SWSG executive boards of Carlow, Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne, Pitt and Point Park.
As part of an ongoing research project FISA Foundation is undertaking to understand issues that are important to girls and women, Kristy Trautmann and Anne Mulgrave came in to pick our brains about the organization and the status of women in general. As we moved the tables into a square, I could now glance around at the faces of my peers: this being the last stretch before break, their eyes drooped.
Though we were originally prompted with a question regarding the general age group of the girls we mentor, the topic quickly changed to their self-confidence and goals. Mentors told tales of girls lacking self-confidence and drive. Mentoring, we asserted, helps these girls realize they can and should have goals, and to pursue them! Lessons about strong women and strong girls, along with the college students right in front of them, can help encourage them to reach their full potential.
On a Saturday morning, college-aged women ardently attempted to break down personal experiences as well as capture what the girls are currently dealing with in their lives. Mentors became teary as they recounted tales of girls and their development throughout the SWSG program. As time ran out, we competed to fit in another memory, another anecdote. Duquesne director, Christina Marsico, commented, “When the session was over, it was a moment that was hard to capture how we all felt. It was a feeling of hope but also fear. It made us all want to do more and make a difference.” Christina has it right: making a difference – that’s what it is all about.