Breakfast BFF Spotlight: Carl Fortune and The Fortune Foundation
January is National Mentoring Month and I am super excited about spotlighting one of my very own Breakfast BFFs for his work in the community and his commitment to mentoring.
Breakfast With Tiffani (BWT): Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and The Fortune Foundation, what is, why did you start it, etc?
Carl: I’ve always had a passion for youth and for serving my community, which is exactly why I started The Fortune Foundation four years ago. Our organization is dedicated to enriching the lives of young people by offering scholarships, leadership development, mentoring, and college preparation to students in the metro D.C. area. To date, we have given more than $10, 000 in scholarship funds and my hope is to continue to impact our youth through the development of community programs and partnerships.
BWT: Why do you think mentoring is important?
Carl: Mentoring is important for two reasons. First, it allows you to share your time, knowledge, and resources to positively impact the life of another person by guiding them along the way. And secondly, it gives your mentee the opportunity to not only learn from you, but to also feel supported and encouraged as they navigate through their journey. I think it’s extremely important that as we climb the “ladder of life” we always reach back and pull up as many people as we can. That’s the true essence of mentorship.
BWT: What lessons have your learned from mentoring, how has it made you a better person?
Carl: Mentoring other people always requires a bit of self-reflection. You definitely have to be willing to share your story…both the good and the bad. I’ve learned that it’s inevitable that you will come across people who share similar goals and aspirations as you, so why not help them along the way and possibly save them from some of the mistakes you made? For me, mentoring has taught me to be a better listener and communicator. I’ve learned how to truly understand where my mentees are coming from so that I can provide the best support and guidance possible.
BWT: Do you have mentors of your own? If so, how do you select them?
Carl: I do have mentors of my own. It’s important for me to know where I’m going and life and to connect with the people who can give me the guidance and wisdom to get there.
I am so grateful to Carl and the Fortune Foundation. If you too, like Carl, have a passion for empowering the youth and serving the community through mentorship, please consider making a donation to the Fortune Foundation by clicking the following link. I want to make a difference!
Let me hear it, is mentorship important to you as well?