My first female mentor was my mom.
She taught me that my heart was the most important part of who I am. She taught me to be kind, brave, and resilient in the face of any challenge. When I entered middle school, even though I still had my mom to turn to for advice, I found guidance in a new mentor — one of my teachers. She encouraged me to be a leader and speak up for the things I believe in. Most importantly, I knew she believed in me.
I’ve made it a habit to form mentorship relationships with women who could guide me through new stages of my life. Now, as a sophomore in college, I’ve also learned that life constantly brings adversities.
One pivotal moment for me was during my time in the seventh grade when I lost all of my hair — I was riddled with insecurity and a fear for the future. During those moments I would turn to the women who knew me best.
The women in my life have all overcome their own challenges and wrestled with their own experiences of adversity. Knowing how human the women in my life actually are has helped me feel less alone in my own challenges.
Their support and guidance has truly transformed my life in ways that I cannot describe. Most importantly, it’s made me more confident in myself and reinforced the idea that it’s not enough to be mentored, there should also be a push to pay it forward.
That is the beautiful and powerful cycle of mentoring.
I am stronger knowing that I have a team of powerful women supporting me and my journey. The love and support that I have felt throughout my life has put me in a position to spread that love and support to others.