Montgomery County launches mentorship program for young women


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A new mentorship program in Montgomery County hopes to teach young women how to lead by example.

The Montgomery County Female Leadership Academy introduced its first group of mentees to their mentors Wednesday night.

The program is for girls age 14 to 16.

Now mentors and mentees will spend a year getting to know each other and learn what it takes to be a leader.

“Just learning from other people is a good thing to help improve yourself and see other perspectives of things,” Mentee Ashlyn Edwards said.

This program follows the Montgomery County Male Leadership Acadamy, which was created a few years earlier.

The goal of both is to connect teens with an adult to help them build confidence, leadership and character.

“Mentors, and what mentoring does, is to broaden horizons and encourage people, whether it be male or female, to see more possibilities of what they can do and show that we believe in them,” Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice said.

The learning experience is not just for the mentees, the women who will be mentors say there’s much to learn from the teens they’ll be supporting.

Julie Bruns / Mentor & Magistrate Juvenile Court “These kids are going to come from different, diverse backgrounds, and I think that’s important for me to get some perspective on them, based even on the decisions I’m making at work,” juvenile court magistrate and mentor Julie Bruns said.

While the program only lasts a year, the hope is that it forms lifelong relationships.

“I hope that we can have a strong connection that I can rely on and use in future experiences, with maybe finding a job or building relationships with other people,” Mentee Anika Vukasinovich said. “Just someone I can learn from and set a good example.”

Over the course of the year, the mentors and mentees will attend organized events and have one-on-one activities to form those relationships.

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