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I am blessed to have had wonderful mentors since childhood. My parents always were available to guide me and I had fantastic grandparents who always had something to tell me! But when I think about mentoring I picture people who didn’t have an obligation to guide me, but did so out of a passion to help a young mind form and develop. I met my mentor right out of college and she has been part of my professional career guidance in one way or another ever since. Roymi Membiela is well known, loved and appreciated in Miami circles and beyond for her passion to help others, especially young women. Today she’s the head of communications at Baptist Health South Florida. Whenever I have a personal or professional challenge in my life, the thought to call her always pops up and I often do. She finds the time to call and provide guidance. In junior high school I also had a terrific teacher who also was a mentor. That’s priceless.
A few years back I was able to return the special favor when I met Anllelic Lozada. Angie, as I always call out to her, also was a recent college grad full of passion but in need of guidance and professional coaching- just like me. I mentored her for several years and today we share a special bond and friendship. I’m so proud that she’s the Product Marketing Manager, Multicultural at AOL Huffington Post but more importantly, my friend.
The reality is that not all young kids, and so many in the Latino and multicultural communities, have this type of guidance earlier in their lives that can make such a difference. Research shows kids paired with mentors are LESS likely to skip school and use drugs. Children enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, “Littles” are more confident and have more self-esteem- a huge impact for our Latino and multicultural youth.
During this time of year it’s so important to be thankful for the mentors we have had or the opportunity to mentor and help a growing child. Please consider volunteering as a ‘Big.’ Visit www.latinobigs.org or www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org for more information and to see first hand the positive outcomes mentoring can help produce.
All opinions expressed are certainly my own.
As a mother of twin tweens in 2011 and an active Girl Scout Troop leader, Cristy realized there was a need to develop bilingual digital content and foster a community facing the challenges of raising kids after first grade. That year she founded and remains co-Publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, to support multicultural parents and mentors with content related to raising Gen Z- tweens & teens ages 7-18. Through the Los Tweens & Teens LIVE events such as Teens & Me – the growing team aims to provide our community with essential resources from chats with therapists to battle anxiety and bullying, to understanding social media and technology.
A New Jersey native of Cuban decent, Cristy is a board member of Amigos For Kids – a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse in the South Florida community. She is a teenage cancer survivor and speaks nationally at conferences and volunteers with cancer-awareness organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Florida.