Successful Women Mentor Youth

through Rotary

 
When Clara Montanez was a student, she never heard the word mentoring. The idea of having a role model help you pursue your ambitions was unfamiliar to her.  "I went the route of getting married and having children first, and started my career later in life. I had no model for how to do that."
 
"Frankly, I was dragged into Rotary. I didn't see a connection at first," says Montanez, who's been a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., since 2003. "But then I met several women, including Doris Margolis, who took me under her wing and started mentoring me on how to get more involved. I began seeing the value in having someone I could count on as a mentor, and I have become more of a leader in our club, in my community, and at work."
 
Montanez says Rotary has given her a platform to mentor young women as they balance career and family, as well as manage the challenge of repaying student loans.  According to a recent study by the American Association of University Women, the student loan debt burden weighs more heavily on women because of the persistent gap in pay between women and men.
 
"I think Rotary has given me access to young people, like Rotaractors, and they are ready to accept guidance because Rotary is a safe place to reach out and get advice," says Montanez.