Patricia Fina Weaver developed The Women of Quail Creek’s (TWOQC) mentoring program in spring 2018 to help ensure that the scholarship winners were successful in their academic endeavors. Initially, Patricia was the only mentor. And then COVID-19 hit! How could the 2020 scholarship recipients be helped when face-to-face contact was out of the question? It took a cadre of eight women, one for each awardee.
The first challenge was to recruit seven additional women to take on the mentor role. That turned out to be the easiest part of the job. Immediately stepping up to the plate were Suzan Bryceland, Clarice Sullivan, Janice Pell, Chris Webber, Patty Zatkin, Jeri Collins, and Sandi Beecher. At its core, a mentor is a wise and trusted advisor and guide who offers encouragement, is patient, listens attentively, helps articulate goals, and inspires.
Suzan Bryceland believes that education is so important, not only for the present, but also for one’s future. She likes to impress upon the mentee her own importance in life and to be there as they begin their educational journey.
Clarice Sullivan, a retired nurse, was matched with a WIT Scholarship winner who is enrolled in a nursing program at the University of Arizona. She is hoping to be a voice of some wisdom based on life experience, but admits there is a fine line between keeping in touch and being intrusive.
Patty Zatkin says the experience has reminded her of the need to be patient, that the student has to progress at her own rate. This is especially true for an older woman who has family and work obligations.
Chris Webber became a mentor because she felt that her experience in working with young women as a public health nurse was an asset. Because she is a part-time QC resident, she has had to do all her mentoring by long-distance via phone and text messages.
Because her mentee is a recent high school graduate, Janice Pell hopes to be able to follow her educational progress while she attends college.
Jeri Collins, one of the first mentors, was initially assigned to mentor two women. Both seemed quite self-sufficient and didn’t seem to need or want her attention. This year one of the same mentees enjoys the contact and willingly stays in touch. Jeri’s experience with mentoring touches both ends of the spectrum, having one who appreciates the contact and the other who didn’t want to be actively involved.
Sandi Beecher is currently mentoring her third young lady. A relative newcomer to QC, she says the scholarship program has drawn her interest since the outset.
In the process of giving their time, the mentors felt their efforts were a way to give back to those who encouraged them along the way. They are happy that in retirement they have the energy and opportunities to give their time to help others. Because of their efforts, this year eight women are receiving the encouragement they need to help make them successful, not only in their academic endeavors, but also in life.