Q. Tell me about your background before coming to BBBS of CM/MW. Why were you attracted to BBBS of CM/MW as a place to work?
A. I came to BBBS of CM/MW after getting my Master’s Degree in Social Work. During my time studying, I worked at both a rape crisis center doing educational programs in K-12 schools and at an after school program for high school students. Before that, I was living in Chile teaching English to high school students. In all these experiences, and through my research on trauma-informed care, I found that having a consistent support person was critical to students’ progress. For this reason, I decided that I wanted to work at a mentoring organization. I also was born and raised in Framingham, MA, and I really wanted to come home and work for my own community.
Q. What is your role at BBBS?
A. I am the Senior Mazie Mentoring Program Director. I oversee our Mazie Mentoring Program in its three locations: Framingham, Marlborough and Waltham.
Q. Can you tell us a little more about the Mazie Mentoring Program?
A. The Mazie Mentoring Program was founded in honor of John Andrew Mazie in 1997. John was tragically killed in a car accident. John’s parents, Barbara and Lowell Mazie, believed that a mentoring program would be the best way to fulfill John’s legacy because John was a mentor to many young people during his life. John was an incredible young man who is missed deeply.
Since 1997, the Mazie Mentoring Program has matched high school sophomores with volunteer mentors from the community. Together, they complete a goal program that involves doing community service, thinking about post-secondary education and planning for the future. We have programs in Framingham and Waltham High Schools, and as of September we will have a program in Marlborough High School – very exciting!
Q. How do you interact with the families and Bigs you serve on a daily basis?
A. Typically, I meet the Littles (we say mentees) at the high school. I tend to speak with them during lunch periods, in-between classes, etc. Aside from meeting in person at our bigger events, I speak to families over the phone.
With Bigs, I see them a lot when they are first starting for training, interviews and match up. As they get farther into the program, I see them mostly at the Goal Award Nights. I speak with the mentors at least once a month in order to support them and make sure things are going alright with their mentees.
Q. Since your position focuses on high school students, tell us about some of the rewards with working with that age group?
A. So many! While high school is challenging, it’s also a time of self-exploration. I get to see our mentees transform from typically unsure, not-too-confident sophomores into seniors that know their way around the school and have goals, dreams and motivation. I love being by their side as they figure out what they are passionate about and what next steps they can take after high school.
Q. What is your favorite part of working at BBBS CM/MW?
A. Tough one – honestly, I love the mission of our organization. I truly believe that having a mentor can change someone’s life trajectory, and that is why I am in this work. Day-to-day, I like getting to know lots of different people. Specifically, our mentors come from all different walks of life and so it’s always interesting to hear their stories. I love watching the mentors grow along with their mentees (it’s not a lie when mentors say they get just as much out of this program as their mentees do!).