Jane N. Douglas
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From: Monday, November 30, 2015 3:34 PM -0500
Subject:The Many Faces of Mentorship
The Crystal Ball, the LLF event of the year, featured more than 60 talented students and their mentors. Mentoring has become a major factor in the way that the Foundation conducts its business, as it emphasizes the pay it forward aspect of the Foundation’s basic principles. It’s a way of shining light on talented members of our broader community, whether it be in the arts or in a specific field like carpentry, and choosing a student with special talents to work with and teach.

Magical things have been happening as a result of these mentorships. One very recent example would be The Crystal Ball Visual Arts mentorship between student Olivia Baptista and professional artist Roz Bechtel. Ollie says the mentorship experience tested her on many levels. Her first challenge she says, was actually applying for a spot in The Crystal Ball Mentorship Program, a step testing both Ollie’s strength and belief in her own talents. Once the initial contact had been made, she found she had acquired not just a mentor to help her with her painting skills, but someone who would share life lessons with her. For Ollie, it was the advice to “...stay open and use my creative side, always...” that she says she will carry with her throughout her life. “I know for sure that looking back on these times we have shared will drive me once again to try something new, and to push forward in everything I have already done.”

Along with the other visual arts mentors and mentees, Ollie and Roz offered their collaborative painting up for auction at The Crystal Ball Gala. It was one of the most sought-after.

The LLF extends its collective thanks to the 45-plus mentors for their generosity. Ollie’s mentorship experience aptly reflects the intent of the Foundation’s work — learning by doing.