When Margot Bosse, a HR Development Program Analyst for Citizens Bank, was paired with Hadassah, a teen mentee from Malden, MA, she didn’t know what to expect and Hadassah’s family had no idea what they would receive in return.
Hadassah has been coming to Agassiz Village since 2013. She describes herself as shy and reserved and before her mentorship started, felt demotivated with at-home learning due to the pandemic. It took some time for Hadassah to come out of her shell to Margot, but after a few Zoom calls, they found a connection over their mutual love for sharks, movies and Margot’s bird Coco.
As the weeks went on, Hadassah began to look forward to her weekly mentor calls. Without her usual social interaction with her friends, she enjoyed that she could always rely on the time she would spend chatting with Margot. Hadassah explained “It gave me something to look forward to, something to do, someone to talk to...I was able to tell Margot stuff I don’t usually talk to other people about.’
Hadassah struggled with being stuck at home all day and lacking motivation to attend virtual classes. Margot helped create a routine for Hadassah that allotted a time to work, a time to relax and a time to have fun. This provided some much-needed stress relief for Hadassah who has always struggled with organization. Hadassah gushed about her mentor, “Margot helped push my personality and open up. I always struggle with my communication, but I want to be a good leader, and being a leader means having to talk to people.”
Margot had a big impact on Hadassah, helping her find motivation again, organizing her day-to-day routine, and being a reliable support system. But Hadassah wasn’t the only person who Margot worked with. In fact, their mentorship led to Margot helping the entire family with challenges they were facing. Hadassah’s sister Tammy and her mother Yoldie began speaking with Margot regularly as well.
Tammy also attended Agassiz Village from an early age, completed the teen leadership program and eventually became a staff member at camp. Tammy, who coincidentally works at Citizens Bank as a teller, was in the midst of applying for a promotion when Margot offered her resume support and gave her advice on how to approach interviews. After speaking with Margot and learning more about her role in HR at Citizens Bank, Tammy switched her college major to HR and Margot provided resources to equip her for her future career.
Margot also helped Yoldie who had very much wanted to buy her family a home, but wasn’t successful in securing a mortgage. Margot went out of her way to schedule calls with Yoldie to help her find resources and give her advice on how to start the process of finding an affordable home, and getting a mortgage. Margot helped Yoldie navigate the ins and outs of buying a home and even assisted Yoldie by looking at houses together online. Margot said, “Sometimes the resources are there, but you just need help finding them. I was really happy to be the one who was able to help them.”
“I got a glimpse into their lives and got to know them deeper. Hadassah is a really great kid, and I’m really glad I got to help the whole family. I was a part of their family...I want to keep working with them.” Margot went on to say how much she had learned and grew through her experience with Agassiz Village’s new mentorship program.
Agassiz Village is a nonprofit youth development organization that gives children a fun, safe overnight summer camp experience that allows them to develop and practice leadership and life skills--a transformative experience that impacts their futures in education, family, career, and community. Agassiz applies Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) techniques and measures the impact Agassiz Village is having on kid’s lives. Due to the pandemic, Agassiz’s in person summer camp was canceled in 2020 and instead Agassiz offered virtual camp as well as a mentorship program.
The Agassiz Village Mentorship Program matched youth from inner city Boston with virtual mentors from Citizens Bank. The mentorship program was created to support and empower kids to flourish in their current lives and through the pandemic by helping participants achieve personal goals, contribute to their communities, and have the confidence to stand up as positive young leaders. “I am thrilled at the incredible impact that the mentorship program had on not only this family but many others. It’s inspiring to see people like Margot give so much of themselves and family’s like Hadassah’s thrive because of it,” said Ash Bahi, Camp Director.
Bahi said he is looking forward to seeing Hadassah in-person this summer at Agassiz Village when she joins Agassiz’s new year-round Leaders in Training (LIT) program for 16–17-year old’s. With this new program, Agassiz will work alongside Citizens Bank once again and this time to provide financial literacy, college and career readiness skills, as well as leadership and Social Emotional Learning tools.
Hadassah said, “Agassiz has helped me tenfold, I am so grateful to be a part of it” and Yoldie added “Agassiz has always helped me so much, I love AV, I am so grateful for them”.