January is National Mentoring Month. For the month, the Girls Inc. Network will celebrate and recognize the valuable role mentors play in the lives of young people. Our mentors build lasting, trusting relationships and create safe spaces for girls to take risks and push themselves. Girls Inc. mentors are there to support girls everyday and every step of the way, helping to provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to counter stereotypes and obstacles and achieve their goals.
Effective mentors are the cornerstone of the Girls Inc. approach to serving the whole girl with experiences that enable her to discover her own strengths and thrive. We are excited to highlight Girls Inc. of the Tennessee Valley and a few of their mentors who have become part of the fabric of their community.
Veronica Greear is a National Park Ranger at Obed and Big South Fork National Park. She introduced girls to nature, encouraging them to be future stewards of their national parks. She also instructed a nature photography lesson where the girls’ work has been on display in local businesses throughout town. Her passion has inspired our girls to love science.
Shelby Cady works for the local school system with special needs students as a workforce readiness specialist. Shelby admires women in politics and wants to be a positive role model for girls and help them develop a strong sense of self and confidence in the world.
Kala Rajan is originally from India and a PhD graduate from the University of Arkansas, working on her Postdoctoral Research at the University of Tennessee — and she is also fluent in four languages. Kala wanted to become a mentor to motivate young minds and help girls get excited about their futures. She loves bringing her passion from the lab and sharing science experiments with the girls.
Watch how Girls Inc. staff and volunteers serve as mentors to our girls every day: