Alisha, a See Her Be Her volunteer coach, says helping her mentees achieve their goals and “seeing my mentees grow” is “really fulfilling to see.”
Alisha's mentee, Ayanna, a ninth grader from Manhattan, notes the program has “helped me move forward and actually push through instead of reluctantly going to school every day.”
She says the program has helped her “think of things in more positive way,” with a “you can do it” mindset. She also learned to start off small with goals to make them more manageable.
Alisha and Ayanna have been working together as coach and mentee for about two months.
Before entering the See Her Be Her Program, Ayanna participated in I’RAISE’s entrepreneur program because her mom “realized I’m a free thinker and have a lot of ideas.” Plus, having family members who are entrepreneurs has motivated her to “want to do something on my own, and make a difference.” Ayanna says being mentored has given her “a clearer mindset” and taught her how to “think about things more rationally.”
Ayanna says what she likes best about the See Her Be Her Program is “How down to earth it is. It’s not just straight to the work; it’s not being concerned about what other people in program are feeling. The people there actually see what you’re doing, and want to see you as a person, not what you’re looking to do in the program.”
Alisha, who lives in Maryland, has had three mentees through I’RAISE, and says that each one is unique. She likes the flexibility of the program: “We don’t follow a set routine or program. I try to work really hard with mentees who struggle with self-confidence and self-awareness.”
She stresses the importance of “teaching them how to take care of their whole selves and achieve total wellness so they can be succeed in whatever they do, whether it be school, personal relationships and friendships: these are foundational skills they need their entire lives.”
Their biweekly sessions start with a wellness check, when Alisha asks about what has been happening lately. In coaching sessions, they have been working on building Ayanna’s confidence and awareness: “Intentional self-care so she can identify what she needs at this moment to take care of herself,” Alisha says. All of Alisha’s mentees have her personal cell phone number, so they can contact her if there is anything they want to discuss before sessions.
Alisha has been working with I’RAISE as a virtual coach for over a year, and is a certified licensed personal development coach and entrepreneur. She owns Living Fulfilled Coaching & Consulting, a life and personal development business.
In the See Her Be Her Program, “We have a lot of free range,” Alisha says. “It’s not so structured in a way we can’t tailor what we do to whatever our mentees’ needs are.”
Alisha enjoys seeing her mentees “achieve their goals, whatever they may be.” She notes how starting a self-care routine helps Ayanna manage stressful times in high school.
Ayanna is interested in cosmetology and music; Alisha plans to help her explore these careers and see if she wants to pursue them, by finding professionals in these fields and learning about what they do, with the potential for an internship in the future.
Ayanna says the most rewarding aspect of her experience as a mentee has been “Growing, seeing myself grow more as person; knowing important things about myself I didn’t even realize.”
I’RAISE’s See Her Be Her Program is a free virtual coaching program for Black girls, ages 8-19. Click here to learn more about the program.