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the years and my children learned to love her as a big sister, but not without the typical sibling squabbles and jealousy. My friends and family know we are a package deal and accept our relationship as my obedience to God. Children’s Services staff members tout us as one of the most successful mentoring pairs they created due to the longevity and outcomes in our relationship. For fun, we both like to shop, go to the movies, travel and work on business projects. Some say we even look like each other, unaware that our relationship developed intentionally and not by blood. Carma beat the odds with a degree in business from Ohio Dominican University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal Studies from Capital University; less than 10 percent of foster youth graduate from college (www.fc2success.org). According to Fostercare.org, 20 percent will be homeless after age 18; 71 percent of the girls will get pregnant by age 21; and 25 percent will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, Carma is gainfully employed and is a strong community servant for various organizations, including recently joining the national board of Foster Care Alumni of

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America. She knows who she is now, accepts where she has been, and embraces what her mission in life must be. I am very proud of the woman Carma has become. Carma is now prepared to lead and mentor others in the foster care system, and I will be there to help her indefinitely. Mentoring tenders two-fold advantages; the mentor gains the blessing of cultivating success in the mentee, and the mentee reaps the harvest of experience and knowledge from the mentor. There is no finite format for mentoring, and a relationship can be designed to fit almost any circumstance. Women are the nucleus of innumerable relationships and influences worldwide. If knowledge transfers generationally through mentoring, women will learn best practices from credible sources with success in mind. Replicating the Naomi and Ruth relationship creates family and community sustainability. Readers, please consider mentoring a young person today and unleash benefits for humanity for years to come.

Iris Cooper’s career includes leadership positions in the financial services, economic development, community service, entrepreneurship, communication, government, and education industries. She is the owner of “JustAskIris!” an entrepreneurial coaching firm. Iris is a founder of Glory Foods Inc., a multimillion-dollar food marketing company. Iris is recognized nationally as an expert in business strategy and branding, having coached many startups to sustainability. Her newest venture is Finish Your Gloryfied Business Plan Now!, a workshop to foster entrepreneurial success. Iris Ann Cooper (www.justaskiris.com)

American DBE Magazine - Spring 2017  

American DBE Magazine is a quarterly digital and print publication dedicated to increasing business diversity and inclusion in the transport...

American DBE Magazine - Spring 2017  

American DBE Magazine is a quarterly digital and print publication dedicated to increasing business diversity and inclusion in the transport...