Over the past several months, we have been working on collecting surveys as part of our community based
participatory research project in partnership with Women Give San Diego and local ethnic community based
organizations. Part of the survey asked female students to choose five (out of a list of 12) resources that they think
are the most needed. The top five answers included leadership training and opportunities for girls, academic
advising, and social emotional support such as individual counseling. As a part of this process, the results of the
surveys so far, and the past focus group event that was held in November, we began planning our Meet the Mentors
event, which took place on July 15.

The event was a chance for girls and young women to engage in round table discussions with women from Women
Give San Diego. We focused the discussions on the overall theme of achieving school and career success, and
discussion topics ranged from developing interview and resume building skills, making decisions on what to study,
to working toward career success and basic principles of success for any position. We also wanted the mentors to
talk about their own career paths and how they became interested, the steps they too to get started, and also how
they took unexpected turns to get to where they are today.

The Women Give members came from a variety of backgrounds and career fields and drew from their own
experiences to give real life advice and answer questions about navigating through college life and building a
career. After a brief introduction from each of the volunteers, the mentors split themselves up across the five tables
and girls got to choose which table they wanted to be a part of based on their interest in the discussion topics and
age group.

We had over 30 participants from the community and eight WGSD members who joined the discussion. The girls
ranged from majority middle school students to university students and came from East African and Karen
communities. The event got positive feedback and both students and WGSD participants expressed interest in a
follow up event. Special thanks to United Women of East Africa Support Team and the Karen Organization for their
support and to the Women Give San Diego members: Betsy McHenry, Claire Groebner, Monica Cannon, Stephanie
Korszen, Judy Bee, Alyson Wright, Kristin Mikolajczak, and Judy Horton


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