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The Power of Connection

Can you think of a time when someone helped you achieve a goal or get through a difficult situation? Maybe a parent, a teacher or a friend. Do you remember how this made you feel and the effect it had on you moving forward? This is the power of connection.

Connecting with others is a fundamental part of our DNA. Research shows that those who make meaningful connections in their lives benefit psychologically, educationally, professionally and even physically- with social connections being credited as an important factor in life expectancy.

The incredible thing about it is that those who experience meaningful connections are in turn, more eager to reach out and share of themselves; the ultimate “pay it forward” and perhaps the solution to many societal ills.

Of these meaningful connections, there may be none more measurably impactful than a positive mentor. And while familial mentors are without a doubt vital, there is also great value in having someone’s positive influence from outside your immediate circle. Thus, phrases such as “it takes a village” and “building community” are born. The effect of mentoring is especially well documented in a mentor-youth dynamic.

Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.”

Young Adults who were at risk for feeling unsatisfied with their efforts but had a mentor are:

The outcomes are clearly visible, which is why Women’s Artistic Leadership Initiative values and utilizes mentorship as a primary component of the Summer Leadership Intensive(link). We aim to help our participants build a strong network, learn from relevant professionals, and connect with one another as peers.

Of course, it’s not just youth who benefit. Studies have found that from a professional

standpoint, employees with a mentor:

 Receive higher compensation  Receive a greater number of promotions  Feel more satisfied with their career  Feel more committed to their career  Are more likely to believe that they will advance in their career

In turn, this research also shows a greater sense of commitment and an increased sense of pride in their work from those who are themselves mentors.

Now we understand that not every young woman who participates in our Summer Leadership Initiative may go on to have a career in the arts, but we believe the resulting network of support they gain, especially from other female leaders, will benefit individuals and communities for generations.

In short, mentorship relationships at any time can be summarized in the words of Michael Scott, “Win. Win…..Win.”

To make participation in our “Mentorship Alliance Track” a part of your Summer LeadershipIntensive experience, make sure to indicate your preference as you register. We can’t wait to connect with you this summer!

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