Have you ever wondered what your purpose is in life? If you have, then you are searching for your “North Star.” This past year, I was fortunate enough to find Image Impact International, and together, we found our North Star. After initially planning to be a mentor, I found myself in the role of Program Chair for Mentoring 4 Impact, the pilot mentoring program that Image Impact launched in the 2018-2019 academic year at CUNY John Jay College. With the help of so many of you, we were able to successfully complete this initiative that helped make a difference in the lives of that first group of students who participated in the program. Thanks so much to all of the Image Impact volunteers who contributed their time, knowledge, and experience to make this pilot program a reality. You are contributing to help us achieve our North Star of mentoring first generation and college students with disabilities, giving them guidance to stay in college, and assisting them in their career search.
What is most meaningful about participating in the Mentoring 4 Impact program are the rewards and fulfillment that each of us gained as mentors, instructors, advisors, and program coordinators. Finding that sense of purpose provides all of us with the feeling of satisfaction in knowing that we are giving something back to others who could use a helping hand.
So, what is a North Star as it relates to an organization such as Image Impact? In a nutshell, it’s our purpose and focal point for why we exist. I started my first board meeting last month by talking about just that. I began the meeting with a quote by Helen Keller that sums it up best:
“True happiness…is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
I’ll continue to build on this topic of finding and maintaining focus on our North Star throughout this year, as I believe it is critical to the future success of our organization and will help us to define who we are as we enter into our Not-for-profit young adulthood.
Now what’s next? Well, after a chance to rest and relax a bit this summer, we are about to start the second year of our Mentoring 4 Impact program, continuing at John Jay College, and expanding to another CUNY campus, Guttman Community College, beginning this fall. It will be another exciting and busy year for us, and we will once again need “all-hands-on-deck” to make our second year and expanded program an even bigger success. With that said, let us know if you or anyone you know is interested in mentoring or instructing a workshop – we will need your help and I can guarantee that it will be rewarding! (Contact Marisol Rosero-Allen, VP of HR at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a mentor or workshop instructor).
In closing, I’d like to again thank all of you who volunteer your valuable time and energy to help Image Impact achieve its purpose/North Star. In particular, I want to thank three of our founders and long-time board members, as we couldn’t have done any of this without you. First, thank you to Susie Schainost, outgoing VP of Education – you were a terrific advisor and coach for me this past year in helping me develop the curriculum for Mentoring 4 Impact. Next, thank you to Cindy Ann Peterson, VP of Communications for all of your efforts in ensuring that our volunteers and supporters stay informed and up-to-date on what we are doing and with our civility initiatives, as well as to both of you for your help leading Training 4 Impact, along with Elaine Rogers. Finally, thank you to Pamela Judd, our past President, for everything you did to make these last several years successful, and for all the time you have put into mentoring me to ensure we have a smooth leadership transition. Your unwavering leadership has left Image Impact in a strong position for entering this next horizon for our organization – we truly appreciate your dedication and commitment! Thank you so much to all three of you, as you have given us a tremendous foundation to build upon.