In addition to the one-to-one mentoring sessions, the Girls Empowered by Mentoring program includes three sessions that bring together all scholars and mentors for a focused topic.
This group event gives the scholars and mentors an opportunity to gather socially in a larger group to address a current topic relevant to the young women. The topic might be a current event or a timely explanation from the college, such as the introduction of “campus carry” or guidelines for reporting “sexual harassment”. In their senior year, the speaker addressed writing a notable college application essay.
During the spring, the program addresses concerns the young women may have about facing final exams, leaving home for college, or dining etiquette for formal events.
The culmination of the mentoring year is a special event. Scholars and mentors are guests of AAUW at a dinner at a restaurant. In addition to an invited speaker, each scholar shares something she has accomplished such as a goal she reached or an honor she received. The mentor follows with an observation she has noticed about her scholar: a way in which she has matured, a fear she overcame, a difficult decision she made.
The scholars are given special gifts to acknowledge their commitment to learning.
In May 2017, the GEM dinner hosted 40 people at Babe’s Restaurant in downtown Carrollton. Carolyn Benavides, owner of Joe’s Pizza on Belt Line in Carrollton, shared her story of challenges and determination in growing up as a Latina woman, overcoming financial struggles and cultural prejudices while raising four boys. Carolyn advised the scholars to give back as they make their way in the world. Her remarks gave our scholars motivation and a great role model.
In our third year of existence, 2018, GEM will celebrate its first class of ECHS graduates!