MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program celebrates fourth year

Issue June 2013

Look for people who are in the career you aspire to and approach anyone you admire, in either their personal or professional lives. That was the message Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral had for participants in the Massachusetts Bar Association Tiered Community Mentoring Program.

"Nobody makes it on their own. Everybody needs a mentor," said Cabral, a keynote speaker at the program's wrap-up event on April 25. "Look for people who seem to have the qualities you admire."

In its fourth year, the program matches 10 practicing lawyers with more than two dozen students from high school, college and law school. The goal of the program is to provide information, guidance and real life experiences to participants so they can make informed decisions regarding their future career.

Cabral called the MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program "amazing" and urged participants to continue adding mentors throughout their lives. She suggested that mentorship is a unique form of learning.

"People can mentor you in the moment," said Cabral, who learned she had the capacity to become a lawyer after taking an aptitude test in the fifth grade. "Take away something from every interaction."

MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr., said mentoring can lead you to open doors that might otherwise have remained closed. "It's not that what you know is not important . . . but whom you know is also important," he said.

The MBA's Tiered Community Mentoring Program was the idea of Norfolk Probate and Family Court First Justice Angela M. Ordoñez. The program was honored with the 2011 ABA Partnership Award from the American Bar Association because of its commitment to diversity.