Mentoring Matters: Women Of Tomorrow

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MIAMI (CBSMiai) – “We are going to talk about New Year’s resolutions… and you were all supposed to bring at least one resolution.”

It’s the end of the fall semester at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in South Miami-Dade, and for a group of young women they are excited about their futures.

Some of the students announced their 2017 plans to the whole class:

“To work on myself physically, spiritually and mentally.”

“To get my service project up and running.”

“I want to make sure I accomplish everything to get into college.”

“When I say I’m going to do something just to do it.”

This is a small glimpse of a monthly meeting for the organization Women of Tomorrow.

Their mentors also shared their plans for 2017.

“I’m going to Washington the day after the inauguration to march for women. I’m going to march for all of you, for Women of Tomorrow because we women need to excel and do well,” said mentor Bernita King.

“My resolution on a person to person level is to say hello to people even if it’s just a stranger,” said mentor Karen Krammer.

King and Krammer are two of hundreds of highly accomplished professional women who mentor young women at local high schools all around South Florida.

“I want them to be the best members of society. They’ve all had issues that they’ve had to work around. We listen to their stories and we try to help them,” said King.

And today one of the young women that they sent out into the world is back with a special message for her fellow panthers.

“So my New Year’s resolution is to study harder because I realized being in college that I could’ve done so much better in high school, I could’ve been a straight-A student if I had worked as hard as I’m doing now with college,” said Nathalie Mora.

Just a few years ago, Mora was one of those teenage girls. She says when she joined she couldn’t even imagine a future.

“I was having issues with my mom, dad and brother,” said Mora. “I thought I was going to be like my brother and drop out of high school, I wasn’t even thinking about college.”

When things got rough at home she credits Women of Tomorrow with being her refuge.

“Women of Tomorrow was like my second family and that was really the only thing I looked forward to. And one day my brother and my dad get into this huge fight and I almost had my brother die in front of me. I was holding him completely covered in his blood and I couldn’t take it anymore. And I just couldn’t,” said Mora.

Mora was in her senior year at the time. When most students are thinking about prom and college, her home life was in crisis.

“The only people that were there for me were the school coordinators and some of the girls from Women of Tomorrow that I was really close with,” said Mora.

Mentor Krammer was one of the women there for Mora.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to give her a safe space, emotionally and support to help her work through challenges she was facing,” said Krammer.

As the year wore on, it came time for the group’s annual scholarship luncheon. And even though Mora was a candidate, she says she had lost hope for everything.

“So I’m sitting there and I’m not paying attention to anything that’s going on because I don’t really want to be there but I’m there for them because they’ve been so good with me,” said Mora.

Her mentor recalls sitting at the luncheon with Mora.

“And we are waiting and we are waiting and other names are called and then there was only one more left and we are looking at each other like you’ve got to be kidding me. This is one of the most deserving young women that we know,” said Krammer.

“Next thing I know and I hear my name and I was so confused, I had no idea what was going on. Karen had to get me up from my chair and walk me to the stage,” said Mora.

Krammer describes it as one of the best moments of the whole year.

“And we were shocked and Nathalie was shocked and then we just started crying and sobbing and we are kind of pushing her to the podium to get her certificate scholarship and we’re all crying screaming and crying,” said Krammer.

Mora was awarded a full four year college scholarship.  These days she’s living at home and going to school at Miami-Dade College and working full-time. She also tells us things at home are much better. Nathalie loves animals and plans on being a veterinarian one day.

“And I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Women of Tomorrow because they were the ones that were actually there for me which is why it’s so important that the girls really get involved because they have no idea how helpful and amazing this club is,” Mora said. “And I can’t thank Women of Tomorrow enough. I really can’t thank them enough.”

If you would like to learn more about Women of Tomorrow, you can go to the website womenoftomorrow.org.

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at mentoringmatters@cbs.com or CLICK HERE for more information about how you can become a mentor.

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