For Leslie Mosman, mentoring came naturally well before she joined the staff of Bridges to Success.
A native of Puerto Rico, Leslie has helped several family members successfully relocate to Rochester. Most recently, she took in two nieces and a nephew after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
Leslie helped two of them get enrolled in school and sign up for medical care, while she guided an older niece to get a job at Wal-Mart. After that niece saved up money from her earnings, Leslie helped her get an apartment.
"When you see them be successful, it comes natural to be able to help people. I think that’s what my calling is," Leslie said, chuckling.
As a mentor in Bridges to Success, Leslie first asks participants what they’d like to see happen in their lives. It could be advancing their education, or getting a job, or getting an apartment, even improving their physical and mental health.
Leslie then asks which goal they want to work on first. “What are the things you can do to attain that? We come up with the steps to get there.” Participants get enthusiastic as they map out what they can achieve.
A goal for a majority of Bridges participants is to live in better housing, Leslie said, so she shares information about available apartments and lotteries being held for space in new buildings.
Participants also often have goals regarding finance and saving money. Leslie will teach them about budgeting and how to open a bank account. "A lot of time, they never even thought about opening a bank account and having a little money put in there for a rainy day, for emergencies. When they see themselves doing that, it makes them feel really good."
Participants seldom drop out of the Bridges program unless they move out of the area, Leslie said. “For most part, they stay because they see themselves moving up, see themselves doing things that are good for them.”
Leslie has several examples of success stories. One woman had been in trouble with the law. Leslie met her through a program that helps people transition back into the community. Through Bridges to Success, this participant enrolled in the Employment Retention Investment Curriculum (ERIC) program at ABC. This led to employment at Lifetime Assistance after graduation.
Leslie is a strong advocate for Bridges to Success. "I believe that this program is needed. It’s definitely a great resource for families here in Rochester."
A quick overview of some of our recent successes in just two short years