Last week, the Emerging Leaders in Community Development‘s Mentorship Program celebrated the completion of their first round of matches. The purpose of the mentorship program is to ensure that the next generation of organization leaders is knowledgeable about the industry, networked, and prepared to stay within the field for many years. Deepening work relationships outside of one’s organization allows mentees to learn about different specialties, facilitates fresh troubleshooting, and encourages cross-fertilization of ideas for both organizations.
In the first year of the program, we matched 21 senior-level leaders in the community development field with 21 early-career and mid-career “emerging leaders”. Program participants came together on June 27 to celebrate the first year and thank all of our mentors for sharing their time and knowledge with a new cohort of community development professionals and future leaders. Mentees had the opportunity to network and all of our mentors shared “the best advice” they received when entering the community development field. Thank you to all of the mentors, both those that were able to join us and those who couldn’t, for participating in the program. Also thank you to McKnight Foundation for sharing their gorgeous space and to US Bank who generously sponsored our celebration.