Lori’s Mentoring Story

In January 2013, I got the amazing chance of being able to mentor two extraordinary young women, as part of the Global Give Back Circle. I really wish someone had mentored me when I was just starting out after college. Maybe I would have made some wiser choices.

The idea of the Global Give Back Circle, when working with young women who are completing university/college, is to provide a mentoring network through which they can share their experiences and challenges, as they enter the workforce and mature. It’s critical to their success that they can sometimes seek advice from a non-family member who has their best interest at heart, but is nevertheless an independent source of information and perspective.

I have met and visited with Asmahan and Vera for the past three years. I have found it to be a rewarding experience to see each of them blossom.

In undertaking this role I have thought frequently of my mother who used to tell me to never listen to those who said I might be unable to do something. “Keep your shoulders back, chin up, and be yourself,” she used to say, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; Cry and you streak your rouge.”

Butterflies should soar. Asmahan, in her mid-20’s, is a world traveler, speaks five (!) languages, and has brought her talents to bear in India. She has recruited nearly a hundred girls and their families into the Global Give Back Circle and secured funding from such major donors as General Electric to expand the program there.

Vera has secured a job as an auditor at a major international financial firm (KPMG) based in Kenya. She travels to support her company and hopes to obtain a Masters Degree.

Both Asmahan and Vera support siblings and other family members along with their many Give Back Commitments. They do so very much for everyone around them. Asmahan and Vera have also taught me a great deal about life in Kenya and the opportunities and challenges young women and girls face here everyday. While I hope I have given them something helpful, I know they have taught me much about how beautiful butterflies can be. Mentoring has enriched my life. My friendship with Asmahan and Vera will stay with me forever.

– Lori Magnusson

Lori is a retired Foreign Service Officer residing in Kenya.