We who receive much, must give much. As a Tri Sigma, I hear that line often. It wasn’t until last year, when I served as a collegiate mentor for the Dunham Women of Character Institute that those words came full circle.
My experience with Dunham goes beyond my time as a mentor. When I joined Tri Sigma in the Spring of 2012, I was given the chance to attend Dunham. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and didn’t know what to expect. What came to be was a weekend that inspired me beyond words. It spurred my ambitions in Sigma, and pushed me to apply for an open position on Honor Council in my chapter, which eventually led to being elected onto Officer Board to which I served two terms. It was Dunham that sparked my love of national programming, and helped me find the desire to attend Convention, Officer Academy and to apply (and eventually be accepted and attend) the Labyrinth Leadership Experience.
It was because of my experience with Dunham the first time, that when the opportunity arose to be a collegiate mentor, I didn’t hesitate to apply. I knew that my Sigma experience could have been drastically different without Dunham, and I wanted to help others start their leadership journey.
That was exactly what being a mentor did for me. I was around newly-initiated Sigmas, listening to their ideas, watching conversations ignite passions. I watched as their knowledge of our organization grew and as they frantically took down notes to bring back to their chapter. It was like looking in a mirror-seeing other women gain so much from the conference that gave me so much. I left the weekend with my heart full of hope for those young women, knowing that their Sigma journey was just beginning.
I would encourage anyone who is interested to apply to be a mentor at Dunham. You will help mold and shape sister’s futures in their chapters and nationally. You will learn so much yourself! You will make new friendships and bonds with the other mentors and the attendees at your table. You will leave Dunham feeling whole, happy, and filled with Sigma love. You will receive much, while giving much. Dunham is a special conference that holds a dear place in my heart, apply to be a mentor and I know it will find a place into your heart too.
Hi! I’m Rae, and I am a recent graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato where I studied Sociology and Non-Profit Leadership. I have recently entered the workforce and am excited to join an Alumna chapter and continue my life-long Sigma journey!