Mentoring 365 Project: Championing Quality Mentoring RelationshipsSeptember 8, 2015
Gloria Lewis is the President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities and also serves on the board of the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM). She has been in her current position for the last ten years, but has been supporting community and healthy youth development for many years. Her drive comes from her parent’s emphasis on helping others and always giving back. Gloria was fortunate to have had many mentors who played an essential role in her growth. She highlights her parents and her grandparents as having influenced her, but also notes her teachers and some of her mother’s friends inspired her altruistic nature.
Gloria credits her role as an advocate and champion of mentoring to the many years of experience in a variety of areas. Those opportunities, she believes, helped her develop the necessary skill-set to efficiently run Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities (BBBS) today. She has held positions in state and city government and assisted with community organizing through her work with Planned Parenthood. At BBBS, her emphasis on engaging the youth, their mentors, and the young person’s family allows for mentoring relationships to grow and thrive consistently. Her passion for youth development has made an impact on the Minnesota mentoring community.
Through Gloria’s leadership and the work of the organization’s Match Support staff, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities provides matched pairs the valued support they need for a successful mentoring relationship. BBBS mentors are provided with many opportunities for training and enrichment to ensure they have the skills to provide the best possible support to their mentee. BBBS focuses on preparing mentors to build trust and maintain consistent communication with their mentee by establishing themselves as caring adults. An important aspect of the mentoring relationship is the mutual growth which occurs between the mentor and the mentee over the course of their year-long commitment.
Gloria’s leadership in the mentoring community has contributed to many youth and mentors participating in these influential relationships. Gloria’s passion and dedication have been essential in maintaining a high standard of quality mentoring relationships within her organization and the entire mentoring community in Minnesota.