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Each month, Alternatives For Girls’ Volunteer Department highlights one volunteer who AFG staff recognize as being a dedicated and passionate volunteer. September’s volunteer spotlight features Jamie Duell, a mentor for AFG’s Asset-Building Project. Jamie has been volunteering for about a year and will soon be celebrating her one-year mentor anniversary with her mentee. When we spoke with Jamie recently, we asked her a few questions about her experience volunteering and the positive relationship she has been able to form with her mentee.
Why did you decide to be a volunteer at AFG?
I wanted the opportunity to influence young women and girls. I don’t have a large family in Detroit so the opportunity to interact with young people in a positive way is something that I have to deliberately seek out.
What is your greatest strength? And how does it help you when you as a volunteer?
My greatest strength is that I understand how important relationships are to our well-being and I bring that into my interactions with my mentee. My mentee has many positive influences in her life so I feel like I am adding one more layer to her support system.
What is your goal in being a volunteer?
I want to build on my mentee’s strengths and help her in any areas that she wants to grow. I also want to be one more person that my mentee can look to for social support. I remember being her age and that it wasn’t always easy. I think that having more people to rely on is a wonderful thing for a girl.
What has been your proudest moment as a volunteer?
One day I took her to Wayne State where I am studying so that we could explore the campus and hang out in the student center. I was really proud of her when she decided to interview some students about what their career plans were, and why they chose their majors. That day I wasn’t really sure of what we should do but it turned out that leaving things a little unstructured led to a great opportunity for her to practice her interviewing skills and learn more from others.
How do others view you as a role model?
I think we are all role models in different ways. I try to be honest with my mentee about the things I am trying to improve and myself but also the things I think are my strengths. I hope this will give her an example of how to strive without needing to be perfect.
Is there anything else you would like to add regarding volunteering?
Being a mentor has been a really rewarding experience. It is something that I think other women should consider. If you have the time and energy to take on the commitment I think you should really consider it.
Thank you, Jamie, for the support and guidance you have provided your mentee!
Interested in mentoring? Please contact Jenny Clement, Volunteer Services Manager, at 313-361-4000 x248 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the next steps to becoming a mentor.