Meet one of the Youth Mentoring Collaborative's youth Board Members, Kennedy Ruff. Follow along with this interview between Kennedy and Hannah McKinney, Manager of Communications & Storytelling.
Q. How did you first learn about the Youth Mentoring Collaborative (YMC)? (HM)
A. "I learned about the MENTOR NC Board through Atrayus Goode and hearing about the work they wanted to accomplish. Atrayus asked me if I wanted to be a youth Board Member, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to give back to others." (KR)
Q. What is your personal "mentoring" story? (HM)
A. "I participated in a mentoring program when I was in high school and experienced both a good, present mentor and a mentor who wasn't as present. Experiencing both of those [types of mentors] pushed me to want to support youth having good, present mentors that they could reach out to even when they are no longer in a program." (KR)
Q. Why do you think this work is important? (HM)
A. "Capacity building, identity-affirming youth mentoring is important because people of color will come across experiences and people where they aren't positive and might make you question your talent or your worth. If you have someone who is showing you how to show up for yourself in any situation and how not to internalize other behavior, can allow you to show up in spaces authentically." (KR)
Q. Which of YMC's values do you feel most personally aligned with? (HM)
A. "I align with growth because I have always felt that you shouldn't stay stagnant, or in one place, for the rest of your life. You are going to go through experiences and lessons that will push you to grow and help you to learn how to navigate life. I believe that it is always good to constantly learn new things no matter where you are in life or your age, and that's a part of growth." (KR)
Q. What are you most excited about in YMC's future? (HM)
A. "I am really excited about the Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium and the [Outstanding Youth Leaders of the Year] Scholarship that youth mentees can apply for to help with college." (KR)
Q. What is your specialty as a Board Member? (HM)
A. "My area of expertise is asking questions to learn more about someone or a topic I don't know a lot about. That is an area of expertise because that is a part of community building and growth." (KR)
Q. Share a fun fact about you! (HM)
A. "I used to play three instruments; flute, violin, and piano!" (HM)
This concludes the interview. To learn more about Kennedy Ruff and the rest of the team, visit Our Team.