I have had a very blessed life because I have had so many mentors take the time to invest in my growth. Here are just a few:
Gail Snowden: Our current Board Chair was my first boss twice! She hired me as a summer intern to the HR department at the Bank of Boston and then again to a full time job at the LODP training program at the Bank a year later. Gail believed in me when not a ton of people would have or should have. She taught me the true meaning of what it means to be a great “Corporate Citizen” and has been a role model and mentor to me ever since. I continue to try and pay it forward as part of Gail’s Army!
Vella Boden: Although not work related, Vella believed in me more (and sooner) than anyone in my life and it had a huge impact on my trajectory to Year Up. Vella was my little brother Curtis’s grandmother who was raising him at the time that I first met Curtis. After I had been matched with Curtis for only a month she pulled me aside and said “if something ever happens to me you will help raise Curtis to do the right thing”. I told her I was honored but was not sure if I was up to the task to which she replied “You are a good man with a good soul, I can see it in your eyes”. Vella believed in me before I believed in myself and she put my life and my relationship with Curtis on a path that would change me forever and allow me to see all that Year Up could possibly become.
Gerald Chertavian: I know as a board member and Former Chair I am supposed to be the mentor but so many times it has been the other way around. He is simply one of the finest people I have ever met in my life and by pushing the envelope of what is possible and by brazenly trying to fulfill audacious dreams he has led me to a place in my life of serving social justice that I never would have gone on my own. I love him like a brother and I am so thankful our lives crossed paths!