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Winston Churchill stated, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”. Churchill’s profound statement clearly supports the concept that mentoring works! Mentoring will allow an individual to build and grow a relationship during one of the most influential times in his/her life. The mentee’s objective is to listen, learn, absorb, and ask questions. Whereas, the mentor’s objective as a trusted adviser is to deliver the message. Needless to say, I am a proud member of the 100 Black Men of North Metro Atlanta, Inc., an organization whose core mission focuses on youth mentoring.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”
My involvement with the chapter allows me to focus on mentoring young males between the ages of 11 and 18. Mentoring the 100 Way focuses on building essential skills needed to become productive contributing citizens. Our workshop topics include positive self-identity, personal vision, life skills, social and emotional skills, moral character, work ethic, and lifelong learning. The techniques utilized are measured using goals that are SMART; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Aside from those goals, there are multiple mentoring models that focus on implementing various STEM activities in the following content areas; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Based on the results of our chapter’s Mentoring Program, the following data reflects:
- 99% High School graduation rate for our mentees; with many who attend college, a technical school or a branch within the military
- Over the past 5 years, we have awarded over $40,000 in scholarships
- During the 2019-2020 school year, our STEM activities supported building robots, air rockets, and the transfer of electricity through lemons; just to name a few.
- We were awarded the Mid-sized Chapter of the Year for our mentoring work
Understanding that mentoring should continue after age 18, our chapter received approval from the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. to create a Collegiate 100 chapter at Kennesaw State University. With much humility, I have been given the task of serving as one of two advisors for the KSU Collegiate 100. The Collegiate 100 is a campus-based student organization; with various initiatives that support the development of social, emotional, and educational needs of youth who need positive role models in their communities. Also, the campus-based organization affords me the opportunity to continue my relationship with the mentee/young adult in a different phase of academia. More importantly, this organization allows the mentee/young adult to give back to those high school students during various mentoring sessions; allowing them to exhibit their leadership skills with the hopes of bridging the gap by-way-of speaking on different topics.
Paying It Forward
In order to achieve those aforementioned goals, there are opportunities to give and fundraise; with Schneider Electric’s “Dollars for Doers” playing a pivotal role. Volunteer mentoring takes place on Saturday mornings until that afternoon, and the KSU Collegiate 100 meetings are held after working hours. The “Dollars for Doers” Program focuses on documented volunteer hours; which can ultimately lead to corporate donations. However, donating is not the only opportunity that Schneider Electric has helped the community. Through various discussions with Schneider Electric, we aspire to have this corporation to attend the National Collegiate 100 conference! I am very proud to say that Schneider Electric continues to support me with my passion by Paying It Forward within my local community.
Mentoring may be considered as a small commitment, but it can have a life-changing effect! International Youth Day is August 12th, and here at Schneider Electric, we have different initiatives for someone to “Pay It Forward” to the youth. One example is a virtual volunteer mentoring activity; hosted by Try Engineering Together. This activity requires only 1-2 hours per month; with the expectation of becoming an active mentor within a local organization or school system.
In closing, everyone has something to share with others; whether it is a process, strategy, or a lesson learned through life experiences.
Remember, mentoring is an opportunity to make your life better by giving back. Besides, mentoring works!
About the Author
Kevin L. Williams is the End User Automation Sales Executive for the states of Georgia and Alabama on the Industrial Automation Team at Schneider Electric. Kevin has over 15 years of expertise in the areas of automation, digitization, and electrical engineering. He has been with the company for more than 2 years and held a previous role as an Industry Sales Executive in Industrial Automation. Prior to joining Schneider Electric, Kevin began his career in the United States Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician and later joined the Atlanta District Office for ABB and Baldor Motors as an Application Engineer. Kevin holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from Strayer University and a Master in Business Administration from the Coles College of Business, Executive MBA program at Kennesaw State University.