In our work, we get to meet and talk with incredible donors and volunteers who are committed to our community – and one of the most remarkable among them is Julie Fisher. Not only is she on the YLS founding committee AND an Employee Campaign Leader for Samsung’s Employee Campaign, but for two-and-a-half years, she’s been giving her time every week to be a mentor.
Since January is Mentoring Month, we thought we’d ask Julie a few questions about her experience:
UWATX Question: What policies does Samsung have to allow their employees to do this kind of work?
Julie’s Answer: One of Samsung’s core values is co-prosperity. We are dedicated to being socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizens in every community we operate in. Specifically at our local level, employees are allowed to volunteer on a workload and manager permitting basis. We offer volunteer opportunities at several different times to accommodate the schedules and shifts that our employees work. We encourage our employees to find their passion and connect with our nonprofit partners to ignite inspiring volunteer opportunities.
How much time do you spend mentoring each week? What kinds of activities are involved?
We meet for at least 1 hour each week . I visit Da’shyra during her lunch period and we usually do arts and crafts and talk about different things going on in her life. At the beginning of our mentoring relationship, we created a scrapbook that I bring every time to sketch, write and put pictures in. It is very fun looking back at all of the memories we have made.
Mentoring is so powerful and can easily change lives with as a little as one hour per week.
Why does mentoring matter? How can it make a difference for a student?
Mentoring is so powerful and can easily change lives with as a little as one hour per week. Students who do not have a consistent adult in their life are often not exposed to different facets of life. Mentors can fill that void and educate them on values such as responsibility, respect and confidence.
How have you affected your mentee in a positive way?
She knows that I am (and will be) a constant role model in her life. I hold strong to the commitment that I will be there every week and she can look forward to our visit as an opportunity to relax and have fun. I value our time together and look forward to it every week!
What other activities have you been involved with at Decker MS? How have these made a difference for students?
At Decker, I have been involved with the Volunteer Project Leader Program with United Way. Throughout the district, I also volunteer with Breakthrough (judging performances), Junior Achievement (teaching financial literacy to elementary students) and GENAustin (speaking on their career days).
I think these projects make a difference because it exposes students to different opportunities that they weren’t aware existed. I love educating students about Samsung, specifically the fact that we don’t just make the TV’s, cameras and phones, but the brains behind the products. It is inspiring to see the students eyes light up at the opportunity of someday working at the “big building off of Parmer Lane”.
HUGE thanks to Julie for sharing her story AND being such a strong force for positive change in Austin!