Approximately 50 student mentees and professional mentors attended the event to launch the innovative initiative designed to connect FMU students, specifically freshmen, with successful business and community mentors who will share their corporate experience and expertise with the students.
“I’m so excited about this program,” said Jessica McRae, a freshman biology major at FMU. “I’m looking forward to learning from my mentor. Right now, I’m a sponge and I want to soak in as much as I can.” Commenting on the impetus behind the initiative, organizer Dade County Links member Connie Butler stated simply,
“As we build a comprehensive mentoring program for first year students, the Links organization is providing the high character mentors we need to reinvent the FMU student,” said Dr. Jeffrey Swain, interim director of Freshman Studies. “Dr. Barbara Edwards and our FMU coordinator Zefonic Dobynes have made this partnership a success.”
Given the popularity of social media, mentors are encouraged to communicate with their mentees using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other forms of social media. Mentors are also encouraged to send inspirational messages to their mentees through email and text messaging.
South Florida Times Publisher Robert Beatty and FMU alumnus and Executive Director of the Richard Allen Leadership Academy Paul Wiggins spoke to the group about the importance of
mentor/mentee programs. Addressing the students directly, Beatty encouraged them to live their dreams.
“A dream without God is empty,” said Beatty. “But a dream with God is success.”
The Links, Inc., founded in 1946, is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
The organization has a membership of more than 12,000 professional women. In June 2011, the Dade County Chapter reached a milestone, celebrating 25 years of friendship and service.
Photo: BY GREGORY REED
SHARING A SMILE: Mentor Tammy Reed of the Dade County Chapter of The Links, Inc.