Life Lessons

Life Lessons: The importance of mentoring

The studies and the science make a compelling argument about the importance of mentoring young girls.

Studies say these young girls are more likely to become leaders in business, in their community and within their families, all it takes is a little time and a few big hearts.

One Bethlehem business woman says the reason she's so passionate about being a mentor is because she gets as much as she gives.

She calls them her girls and tells anyone in ear shot how much she loves them, how much she believes in them and how much she thinks they can become.

"Showing them that there is so much out there for them and they're willing to grab it. I am feeling useful, that I have a purpose in my life," said Carmen Toro, owner of Beauty of Alibi in Bethlehem.

Toro met the girls a year ago when they were in Trexler Middle School. Assistant principal Ferdinand Surita connected them.

"I think having that combination of support, insight and experience and really a passion and really a purpose in her life as well as ours, I think it's coming around that the students are not so much about what do you know but do you care?" Surita said.

Carmen calls her mentoring program Encourage Ambition, and the girls feel it.

"When we first met her I didn't really think it was going to be something big but now it's like It's so exciting when we get to meet her and I'm so excited about my future because she makes me feel like I have such a big impact on the world," said Perla Dominguez.

Carmen is working to develop the girls personally and academically. She reminds them that school work comes first and teaches them everything from etiquette to proper make up.

"When she came it opened my eyes, it doesn't matter if i'm short or tall skinny or overweight, I could still be what I want to be," said Lisbett Santos.

And Carmen will be the first in line to cheer them on.

"She's someone who didn't know us but saw we could become something. It's cool," Dominguez said.

"They feel they're valued. I'm giving them a lot of confidence and showing them they can do anything they want," Carmen said.

If you're interested in being a mentor to a young girl or boy, many communities have programs to help you find your perfect match.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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