‘It was my way of giving to, and being a part of, the community around us…’

By Benjamin Campbell

One of a series of articles on National Grid’s commitment to people with disabilities BSU

Earlier this month, National Grid employees Mary O’Neil and Frances Gage volunteered as Career Mentors at Bridgewater State University, where they participated in a mentoring lunch along with several other companies including EMC and John Hancock.

The lunch was part of the Massachusetts Youth Leadership Forum, a three-day overnight leadership conference for high school students and young adults with disabilities, organized by Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD). Professionals from a wide range of fields volunteered, from computer science and engineering to education and criminal justice. Mary and Frances represented Internal Audit and AGC Corporate, respectively.

During the lunch, professionals were paired with students who had interest in their career fields. Mentors shared stories of their own educational and career journey, what a typical work day looks like, tips for success and so on. Later, students were given the opportunity to network freely with the rest of the mentors.

Overall, the event was well suited to the needs of the students. Mary explained that “They have to take a different approach. It’s a different type of mentoring they might need as opposed to a student who is following a traditional college path. For example, one student needed to stay close to home, so his mentor said to get a map, draw a circle around your home and find all the places you can work within it.” Some of the mentors had even been mentees themselves, who had since learned leadership skills and were able to teach new students.

Frances Gage also had great things to say about the event: “I was so grateful to represent both the Corporate Legal Group and the Enabling Disability Group as a participant in this amazing mentoring program.  All of the individuals we met were extremely excited to join the workforce.  Each looked forward to the future and the opportunity to be engaged and an essential contributor to an employer.  As part of National Grid, it was my way of giving to, and being a part of, the community around us.”

The event was a positive experience for all involved, including National Grid as a company and the other organizations involved. As a company that tries to represent the population we serve, connecting with people with disabilities is an important part of that.

Check out the other articles in the series!

Overcoming Adversity: Meet National Grid’s Michael Brodsky http://us.ournationalgrid.com/news-article/overcoming-adversity-meet-national-grids-michael-brodsky/
Disability Mentoring hits Res Woods http://us.ournationalgrid.com/news-article/disability-mentoring-hits-res-woods/
Who Helped Who? http://us.ournationalgrid.com/news-article/who-helped-who/
‘To most people, Alex appears to be like any other five-year-old kid…’ http://us.ournationalgrid.com/news-article/to-most-people-alex-appears-to-be-like-any-other-five-year-old-kid/

One Comment

Mary Holzmann

Thank you for giving your time and for sharing your experience helping support young adults with disabilities with mentoring and career advice. Thank you Ben, for covering the volunteer efforts and personal stories of our employees and how the company support these efforts.

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