Why I Became a Luxottica Mentor
Mentorship is an important part of Luxottica’s culture. We offer several programs for Luxotticans to connect with other associates internally and externally for life changing mentorship opportunities and experiences that impact the lives of our participants and community.
Amy Purcell, Senior Director of Corporate Communication for Luxottica North America talks about her rewarding participation as a mentor in our award-winning partnership with Withrow High School.
I decided to become a mentor for Luxottica because the program gives Cincinnati’s youth the opportunity to explore a corporate environment, build skills that will help them in college and in life, and it’s super fun to be around energetic high schoolers. It reminds you that no matter where a teenager is from or what their circumstances might be, they have big dreams and hopes for the future. I love the idea that, as a mentor, I can help students see a path toward a brighter future, especially those students who might otherwise not have this type of opportunity.
I was fortunate. I grew up in a supportive family and I always knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up so my decision to pursue journalism was an easy one. Many kids don’t have it that easy and need guidance and support to make decisions about their future. I’m honored to be part of a program that actually empowers and supports students as they make these types of important life decisions.
Having a mentor is important no matter where you’re at in your career or what stage you’re at in life. I’ve always respected and appreciated what my mentors have taught me and how they have influenced my decisions in positive ways. Being able to turn to someone who isn’t related to you (such as a family member) or isn’t necessarily in your close network of friends can be very powerful because they can provide an unbiased perspective. Statistics prove that mentoring works, especially for younger people – in our mentoring program, there is a 98% graduation rate, which is impressive!
One of my most rewarding experiences as a mentor happened last year. My mentee was incredibly shy and barely spoke the first few times she was with me. By the end of the program, she opened up to me and confided in me. She was also petrified to speak in front of others but made it through her senior presentation as if she were a pro at public speaking. Using the caterpillar to a butterfly metaphor might be corny or cliché but she truly came out of her cocoon of insecurity and flew off beautifully to pursue a nursing degree! I simply enjoy being with all of the mentees and watching their confidence and skills grow as each month passes in the program. I’ve had heartbreaking, heartfelt and hilarious conversations with the mentees and I cherish all of those moments.
Being a mentor has enriched me because in many ways. First, it provides you with a perspective on the enormous pressure kids are under today, especially those in socioeconomically vulnerable or underserved areas of our community. It’s a reminder that kids need consistency, support, and encouragement from adults to be successful. It’s also a reminder that everyone is different and different is good. No two mentees have been alike for me and I have learned something new from each of them. Mentoring also enriches my coaching and listening skills, which ultimately enriches my role as an employee and leader.
We believe in helping people see better and that can take on many forms, whether it’s providing vision care in our stores, volunteering for OneSight, or helping others see a new path to take in their career or in life. I believe it’s incredibly important for Luxottica to help students who may someday be Luxottica employees see a brighter future. Being a mentor makes me a better, happier employee and happy employees are more productive!