Hello and happy National Mentoring Month. My name is Megan and I’m the executive director of a non-profit organization called Lead(H)er. We are the mentorship program, fueling career and community engagement for women in the workforce and we’re located in Davenport, Iowa. We started in 2016 with the mission of connecting women, not only with other professionals within their own organization, but across the community— as well as adding additional supports to make sure that women are able to overcome the barriers like mentorship, in order to achieve their personal goals and success.
Lead(H)er started in 2016, and since then we have served 848 women with mentorship. There are three areas that women talk about seeing outcomes in. The first one is personal and professional development opportunities. The second one is networking and connection, and the last one is going to be economic benefits.
The outcomes and the things that women get out of being mentored and having new connections in the community are very wide and they create a ripple effect across other organizations and within our households, our communities, et cetera.
For example, last year, one of our mentors— her name is Jenny— she decided that she wanted to make a change in her community. She was matched with a mentor and her mentor told her how to run for office. And she did. And she won. So that is just one small example of the way that funding, such as from the Iowa Women’s Foundation, allows for us to really make positive change for women and girls in our community. We are so fortunate that although we have been facing some big and different problems in the last year, Lear(H)er is stronger than ever.
So many women are seeking support and guidance and that has always been essential, but it’s truly something that really, really matters even more now. Women are really desperate for this. We have seen a huge increase in applications for mentees and this funding is going to allow us to continue to recruit and train mentors in order to meet that need as we continue to work through a changing world in 2021. Thanks again. Happy National Mentoring Month. We appreciate everything that the Iowa Women’s Foundation has done for us and will continue to do in the future.
Have a wonderful year.