How did you get involved with Dress for Success Vancouver?
Christina Florencio shared it with me and I had always heard of it even when I was in the corporate world.
My mom was a single mom and she went through a really hard time with my father. There was abuse and it didn’t end so well. We were coming in and out of women’s shelters. Organizations like Dress for Success Vancouver supported her in raising 3 daughters, giving her the support to find a job. It wasn’t DFS Vancouver in particular but an organization of that kind so it’s near and dear to my heart to be part of an organization supporting women.
What makes you passionate about Dress for Success Vancouver?
They’re supporting women who feel alone and need to be a part of a community. Dress for Success Vancouver is about community and about empowering the women, but in a way that builds community so you don’t feel alone. It’s not just about an individual woman and dressing her up but building her confidence by letting her be part of something bigger and part of a community.
How long have you been a mentor at Dress for Success Vancouver?
First time I spoke at the Professional Women's Group was January 2013, and I officially became a mentor April 2014. It’s been over a year.
What do you do as a mentor?
I attend the Professional Women's Group meetings on a monthly basis, but I also have mentees that I speak and connect with on a regular basis. They don’t designate a person to you, but they introduce us as mentors and it’s up to them to respond.
Favourite moments or client success stories that you can share?
One story that I think is amazing is my mentee Serena Cripps. I’ve spent quite a lot of time with her. She was so inspired to do fundraising for the Spark it Forward race. She wanted to start her own group and her own non-profit organization. She invited me to speak at her workshops. We’ve developed a great friendship and trust and whenever she needs help she reaches out.
What’s the most fulfilling thing about working with Dress for Success Vancouver?
It’s the people, it’s the organizers - Christina, Lucia, Jennifer, Jen and Val. All those people who put their heart and soul into the organization and the women we get to meet everyday. Everytime I go to one of those monthly meetings I cry. It’s just so amazing what they’re doing and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.
Any words of advice for someone going through a tough situation?
Whenever you’re going through a hard time, always reach out to a loved one. Someone you know who is going to be there to listen, to support you and love you and just be there for you. I don’t believe we’re suppose to go through life alone, we’re suppose to do it together.
Most surprising thing about Dress for Success Vancouver?
In general for mentoring, you feel like you’re the one who is mentoring and sharing your experience but they have just as much to share. I feel like it’s a learning opportunity, to connect with people and I feel like I’m co-mentoring because i’m getting just as much from them as they are from me.