After attending the StartingBloc Institute in NYC this past summer, I felt called to mentor at their following Institute which took place in Washington, D.C. in late October. The Institute is a transformative five-day experience to enter attendees into the StartingBloc Fellowship. I have become so grateful for this community that’s focused on growth and mutual support to activate social change.
As a mentor, I guided mentees through the experience by modeling behavior, facilitating conversations, a design thinking scrimmage and leading a breakout group of five amazing individuals. They included: a Lost Boy of Sudan who now lives in the U.S. and has started a nonprofit and coffee initiative to support refugees still living in camps; a Tufts Fletcher school student who has started his own shoe making social enterprise to connect the Latin American market to the US and provide a Living Well Wage; a New Zealander who is tackling underutilization of people in workplaces; a chemical engineer from India who is passionate about building sustainable and affordable technologies; StartingBloc’s new Director of Search, whose background spans youth advocacy and anti-poverty initiatives and runs her own beautiful podcast. It was deeply inspiring to meet this group and in turn support them through the Institute.
In the followup feedback to the Institute, I received several nice anonymous comments about my role:
“Shannon is incredibly inclusive and enthusiastic. She knew exactly the questions to ask to foster conversation and create a good group dynamic. I’ve never felt so immediately supported by someone I’d just met in my life! Go Shannon!”
“[Shannon] facilitated the discussions, brought out the best in us, helped in every situation. Made all the discussions very fun.”
“Everything — Shannon was fabulous.”
“I really enjoyed talking to Dhanya and Shannon. Super smart, interesting and strong women! All of them were so kind, engaging, and supportive!”
If you are interested in becoming a StartingBloc Fellow, their institutes run four times a year in NYC, DC, New Orleans and LA. Apply now »