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Kianna's passion for youth work leads her to mentor with the GGAL Program


A photo of Kianna

Kianna Young (she/her), a Family Social Science major from the University of Minnesota, has been a youth program mentor since February 2023. Kianna has always enjoyed working with children and helping people. Her dream is to work either at a high school or nonprofit organization where she would be able to make positive impacts on youth, families, and communities. Her passion for youth and community-based work led her to her mentorship with the Girls Getting Ahead in Leadership program at WISE. Kianna wraps up her mentorship this coming May 2023.


Read more about Kianna and her mentorship experience below!

 

Q: What drew you to mentor at WISE?

What drew me to WISE was -- out of the options given -- GGAL was in a high school. I had always wanted to work in a high school so I figured it would be the perfect fit. I also loved the initiative of the program and then once getting familiar with it, Stephany really helped me deal the deal!


Q: What are your personal or professional goals as a WISE mentor or intern?

My personal goals as a WISE mentor is to expand my care with older children like high schoolers but to also influence and be a role model to those who look like me and may come from the same background as me.

Q: What did you learn or take away from your experience with WISE?

What I learned through my experiences here at WISE is that even with different backgrounds everyone finds a way to work together and listen to each other. I think my experiences during GGAL have taught me a lot about real life such as managing money but also how to work together strongly in groups or pairs.


"My personal goals as a WISE mentor is to expand my care with older children like high schoolers but to also influence and be a role model to those who look like me and may come from the same background as me."

Q: Did you experience any challenges during your mentorship or internship? What were they and how did you overcome the situation?

The only challenges that I experienced during mentorship was the amount of days I was able to come. From the start, I could only volunteer 1x a week. With this winter, many of the large snow storms were on the same day as I volunteered so many classes I felt got cancelled. With that, I didn’t feel as connected with the girls or felt like I was missing out however now I make sure to give them my undivided attention for those couple hours each week to really catch up and stay in touch with them.


Q: Please share a memory or experience that was significant to you during your mentorship/internship.

One of my favorite memories from this experience was watching the girls come together to plan a field trip and fundraiser. The girls had to really think outside of the box and come up with new ways to do things that were allowed within school rules. Overall, we had such a fun time planning the event and there would be different days where a different girl would make me laugh or smile because of something they researched or jokes they shared.


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