Women’s Leadership Initiative – Stories of Success – Mentees Leading the Way

In September of 2022, Hanna was a Junior attending Chester High School. She was selected by her school administration to become a mentee in the Women’s Leadership Initiative. This initiative is hosted by State Representative David Friess and pairs high school students in his district to be mentored by successful, influential women in each student’s field of interest. During their time in the program, the young women are encouraged to take risks and embrace new challenges.

With the encouragement and direction of her mentor, Rita Sickmeyer, Owner of EZ Travel in Sparta, Hanna summoned her courage and passion to help others.  She created a food pantry at Chester High School for her fellow students. “Just for Jackets” is a food pantry created to provide Chester High School students with clothing, food, and other necessities. This provides food throughout their school day and supplies them for the upcoming weekend.

When asked to review the Women’s Leadership Initiative, Colvis stated, “This program helped me do something amazing that I would have never had the courage to do before!” 

Hanna, now a senior and Women’s Leadership Initiative alumni, has influenced other students to put their peers first as well. Mabry is a senior who was selected this year by her school administration to be a part of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. By following in the footsteps of Hanna, she has put her passion for helping others to great use this holiday season. She volunteers in the program that Hanna developed. While trying to juggle studying for semester exams, applying for college scholarships, and maintaining a social life, Mabry reports having sent 14 food bags home with those in need over Christmas break. She proudly stated that she plans to continue to donate her time to this worthy cause.

The extraordinary service of these mentees is a step toward leadership. Mentorship provides a gateway to the personal and professional growth of a mentee. These examples are a testament to what the Women’s Leadership Initiative has set out to accomplish.