This week we are celebrating victories outside of the classroom with the theme “Mentoring in Real Life.” Our third Mentor of the Week for National Mentoring Month is Emily Gildea! Emily is currently mentoring Ashlyn, a student at Meeting Street Academy who she has been paired with for the past five years. Emily describes the two as the best of friends who share a love of running 5Ks and Beyoncé.
Emily has long held a passion for mentoring young women, and served on the Junior YWCA Board of Directors in Bristol, TN before relocating to Charleston. She learned about Be A Mentor through a friend as they were redesigning the Meeting Street Academy website, and has enjoyed her experience ever since. “You can’t beat lunch once a week with a smiling face like Ashlyn’s,” she said. Emily enjoys their lunches so much that she still carries the lunch bag that Ashlyn designed for her on their first meeting, even though she admits it is being held together with duct tape now.
Ashlyn and Emily have competed in several 5k races together, and Ashlyn has even placed in the top three in her age range in two of the races they completed in together. Emily’s favorite part about mentoring Ashlyn is her encouragement dedication to 5K races.
During the past five years, Emily has seen Ashlyn grow into a bright, smart, young leader. “We started off with coloring books and board games, and we have moved on to 5Ks and times tables,” Emily shared. The pair share open conversation, but prefer talk about music, gymnastics, food, and the fun they get to have outside of school.
“I hope she realizes what a positive impact she’s had on my life,” Emily said of her mentee. Emily hopes that she and Ashlyn continue to be lifelong friends, even after Ashlyn’s days at Meeting Street Academy. She continued to say, “Our weekly meetings have been the one constant in my life in the past five years of my life; through the loss of my mom to my wedding day. She could never be replaced!”
We love seeing our mentors passionate about the investment they are making in their mentees. We look forward to seeing this pair, and all of our mentor and mentee pairs, continue to flourish. Congratulations again, Emily!