The Life & Work Connections program has for several years provided classroom-based instruction as well as community-based experiential learning opportunities through Transition Network, a partnership with Columbia College. A new initiative called “Inspiring Success” expands offerings through Transition Network, and diversifies our partnerships.
The University of Missouri’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Service Learning program are participating in the initiative, which links women served by Boone County Family Resources to peer mentors. Working together, each pair sets and pursues goals for personal growth, in what is expected to be a mutually fulfilling experience for all involved.
Mary Breight, a Community Skills Specialist with Life & Work Connections, coordinates the program. “We modeled Inspiring Success after the Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network Mentoring Program. At our first meeting, I observed the peer mentors and mentees finding common ground and bonding. It was a beautiful thing to witness. My hope is that both the peer mentors and mentees learn from each other as well as achieve personal and professional goals through this program.”
Kappa member Betsy Smith, a Journalism major, is linked with Lena. “We talked about what we each hope to get out of Inspiring Success,” says Betsy. “Lena wants to work on professional communication skills for the workplace.” Betsy says she plans to explore opportunities at the University’s Student Success Center with Lena. “The Center has all kinds of programs and activities I think would help Lena build her communication and work skills. We would participate together,” she says. “I hope to build a lasting friendship with Lena that continues beyond Inspiring Success.”
Currently, other offerings through Transition Network include Fitness Achievers, an on going health and fitness group; Project STIR, focused on knowing your rights and responsibilities and building self-advocacy skills; and Work It — Workplace Expectations. Future class offerings in late spring and summer sessions will include a Sexuality Education class, Social Media Savvy, Apartment Planning, and Work It — Finding and Keeping a job.