I blogged on my art project with the Grade Six girls at a local school in March. I called it mentoring. My involvement started with the school through my Rotary Club and our goal of literacy in our community. We sponsored the school with a $10,000 matching grant and offered the opportunity to club members to volunteer at the school on a regular basis, with any project.
We finished my project last week,amazed at not only how the girls paintings evolved but their insightful words on what made them a Mighty Girl. Each participant came to the project with their own talents. Some had never painted before. Some had no doubt about themselves or how mighty they were, others had never experienced looking at all their good qualities, strengths and beauty. Some knew love,some hoped for love. Each brought their uniqueness every week. There was laughter, tears, start overs and some never finishes. We all learned more about each other and how our struggles are all the same. Watching them encourage each other and grow made my heart beat a little happier.
I was not there as a teacher or instructor, I was only there as a caring adult to give them the opportunity to grow through this introspective project. It wasn’t about painting or learning a new skill. I grew and they grew. That’s it.
We celebrated with a party of pizza, pop and cupcakes.
Thank you to Rotary for your commitment to “literacy” and Mighty Girl for their inspiration, and to the girls of Grade Six.
Well done “Mighty Girls”!! Thank You!
In retirement you have time to reflect on your career. Forty five years of working involves a multitude of relationships. I started when I was fifteen and am now retired at sixty. Some jobs I remember fondly and some I try to forget; like the one day I spent as a collections clerk at a credit bureau. Retirement doesn’t mean that you stop having relationships, you just get to be more choosy about what you want to spend your very valuable time on. One of the skills I acquired in my careers of many colours was mentoring. I have always believed in the principles of servant/leadership and the need for community building. I first read “The Servant as Leader”, by Robert Greenleaf in 1986. This skill is more valuable to me now than ever. Time, and no career restraints make if possible to mentor those who might not have opportunities.
I am enjoying my own personal art projects but was inspired by some blogs on journaling and art as therapy and as always I am inspired by A Mighty Girl. The thoughts just came together, and now I have an art class in a school where some of the Grade 6 girls just need to know that the community cares. Once a week we get together at lunch hour, and I am helping them create a self-portrait illustrating why they are “A Mighty Girl” Each girl comes to the table with their own skills and talents and we work with paint, photographs and words to help them define their ‘mightiness”. It always involves a safe space and much laughter. The pictures below show some of the girls progress. I will post again when we are finished. The picture at the top of the blog is the one I painted for my granddaughter for Christmas. I am working on another granddaughter’s picture during the class.
I am not sure who is mentoring who?