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I am blessed to have had wonderful mentors since childhood. My parents always were available to guide me and I had fantastic grandparents who always had something to tell me! But when I think about mentoring I picture people who didn’t have an obligation to guide me, but did so out of a passion to help a young mind form and develop. I met my mentor right out of college and she has been part of my professional career guidance in one way or another ever since. Roymi Membiela is well known, loved and appreciated in Miami circles and beyond for her passion to help others, especially young women. Today she’s the head of communications at Baptist Health South Florida. Whenever I have a personal or professional challenge in my life, the thought to call her always pops up and I often do. She finds the time to call and provide guidance. In junior high school I also had a terrific teacher who also was a mentor. That’s priceless.
A few years back I was able to return the special favor when I met Anllelic Lozada. Angie, as I always call out to her, also was a recent college grad full of passion but in need of guidance and professional coaching- just like me. I mentored her for several years and today we share a special bond and friendship. I’m so proud that she’s the Product Marketing Manager, Multicultural at AOL Huffington Post but more importantly, my friend.
The reality is that not all young kids, and so many in the Latino and multicultural communities, have this type of guidance earlier in their lives that can make such a difference. Research shows kids paired with mentors are LESS likely to skip school and use drugs. Children enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, “Littles” are more confident and have more self-esteem- a huge impact for our Latino and multicultural youth.
During this time of year it’s so important to be thankful for the mentors we have had or the opportunity to mentor and help a growing child. Please consider volunteering as a ‘Big.’ Visit www.latinobigs.org or www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org for more information and to see first hand the positive outcomes mentoring can help produce.
All opinions expressed are certainly my own.
Cristy is the founder and publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, as well as the co-CEO & partner of DiMe Media, based in Miami. Born to Cuban parents, she’s a ‘Jersey Girl’ who is the proud mom of twin teens and wife to her college sweetheart, a “gringo” with a Latino soul! Cristy is also a teen cancer survivor, lover of travel, tech, good food, all-things beauty related, family cooking and social sharing.