According to Merriam Webster dictionary, mentorship is the guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or educational institution. Mentoring is the process whereby one person is sharing their skills, knowledge, and assistance to aid their mentee’s growth in life or their career. The intention of most mentors is to “give back”, by spreading the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired over time. A mentor and mentee relationship is a combination of trust that one develops through a friendship, and guidance that one may receive from a parent.  This role surpasses simply “giving advice”; a true mentor genuinely empowers you to reach your full potential as an individual.

Today I am fortunate enough to say that I’ve had a mentor to not only aid me in my career development, but also in the real world. Temi Sacks has been my boss and mentor for almost two years now, and I credit her with being a catalyst in my life which has fostered my growth. I arrived at T.J. Sacks’ office an eager college intern, ready to soak up every bit of knowledge like a sponge. Over the course of my mentee and mentor relationship I’ve grown to understand the Public Relations industry, improved my skills while acquiring new ones, took on leadership roles, and broadened my reading interest. Like a true mentor, Temi has pushed me to reach for more, but with the reminder that hard work is always the driving force behind success.

Throughout this journey, I’ve not only acquired a phenomenal mentor, but also a network of women who have gone through this process before. At least twice a year, Temi will host an intern gathering in her house, with all her past interns. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. Through this network I’ve been able to gain insight into the current professional PR world. At the gatherings, each one of us will go around and briefly explain our current jobs, positions, and what that position entails. We chat about work environments, and the PR industry as a whole. More importantly we share anecdotes of our time at T.J. Sacks & Associates, and experiences working alongside Temi. Just like me, these young women have had the opportunity to experience a true ongoing mentorship from Temi. A former intern, bought me a book to read on a guide to finding a job. It was so thoughtful, because I am now a senior, and will soon be experiencing applying to the job market. I’m fortunate enough, to have a professional network of women who will always be there to guide and support me, whether it be professionally or personally.

I am Afro-Latina, and was born and raised in the South Bronx. The opportunities I’ve encountered and strived to obtain throughout my lifetime, are not the same for many women of color where I come from. Temi and I constantly discuss the influential women of color who are paving the way for success within their marginalized communities. Temi has pushed me to see my capabilities to one day become a leader and impact the world the same way these women are. Through her mentorship, I’ve become inspired to one day reciprocate one of the most important relationships a young girl should have in her life. Women of color especially, need women mentors to lift and guide them to reaching their true potential. I am happy to say that today there are more women of color in fields than ever before. However, our strength lies in working together. Developing a network allows us to change the world around us, and achieve our goals more quickly and effectively than working alone.