High School Mentoring Program


Our GMAD mentees are in for another great year. We’ve hosted mixer events to help mentors and mentees get acquainted, and we supplemented this year’s program with a four-part Personal Development workshop series called  “ME 2.0”,  that kicked off February 21st at Garinger High School.  ME 2.0 was tailored for our girls by one of our mentors, life coach and author, Deidra Parrish Williams of Hollisder House. Once a month through May, the girls will participate in an interactive experience designed to provide them tools and perspectives for planning and decision-making in all areas of their lives.

“As most of us grown-ups know, life requires life skills. The earlier we can help you develop those skills and put them in your toolbox, the more prepared you’ll be to build the kind of life you’ll be proud of,” Ms. Parrish Williams said to the group in the first module, “The Story of You.”  

WIE members, Dorothy Counts Scoggins, Donna Parker Tate, Brittenay Caussieestko-Lee and Lashanda Millner Murphy were on hand for the workshop. Ms Parker Tate remarked; “One of the girls hugged me when the workshop was over. I can see that this is going to help us get to know the girls better and build stronger relationships with them.”

The girls were encouraged to share highlights of the day with their mentors so feel free to ask prompt them. You can ask questions like: What are the two kinds of “perspective”? What is the prefrontal cortex and what role does it play? What are your long- and short-term goals, and what choices will help you attain them?

The workshop ended with a closing thought from Ms. Parrish Williams that brought the discussion a perfect close: “Every moment of every day, you’re the lead character in a scene within a chapter of a book that is The Story of You.  What happens next is up to you. You’re not just the lead character, you’re the author too.”

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The Women’s Inter-Cultural Exchange (WIE) piloted the Garinger Mentoring Across Difference (GMAD) program in partnership with Garinger High School (GHS) in the school year of 2017-18.

The goal of the program was to offer 15 diverse students the tools needed to build trust across generation, race, culture and socio-economics, leading them on a path of success in the global economy.  Cultivated graduates are more-likely to have a greater positive impact economically, socially and financially as they continue their education via universities, technical schools (career readiness) and become successful community members. Therefore, WIE agrees that the collaboration with GHS was a success in its pilot year and has chosen to expand the GMAD program.  WIE has added an additional 18 girls that have been recommended by the Garinger administration from the top students with a GPA of 4.0+ - 3.65 in the sophomore class. The mentees and mentors from school year 2017-18 would play a vital role in building trust across the newly selected students to help in building trust across race and culture

The goals of the Mentoring Program are:

  • increase the number of graduates from GHS;
  • afford students the opportunity to have mentors to provide a caring adult role model for them during this critical stage of their lives;
  • compliment students’ leadership and development skills, allowing access to senior level professionals in the community;
  • provide students guidance from leaders they might not be able to access; and
  • ensure students are nurtured by others willing to share time and experiences to support participants’ success in a global society.

The following outcomes are also being measured of the Mentees:

  • AP Class in junior year (2017-18 Mentees are currently enrolled in a minimum of 2 AP classes)
  • School Attendance @95%
  • A/B Honor Roll
  • School + 2 extra activities
  • Prepared for outside Garinger High School (social trust)
  • College Acceptance Plan

Target Population: GHS has a diverse population of 1,845 students school year 2018-19

  • 53% male and 47% female
  • 97% minority enrollment
  • 46% of the students, English is not their first language;
  • 100% of total enrollment are economically disadvantaged and;
  • GHS is well positioned to accept assistance in the areas of support for teachers, students and partner organizations.

Building trust and increasing social capital continues to be a critical need in Charlotte. High School students often do not have access to mentors different than their own backgrounds, thereby limiting their opportunities in today’s global society. One way to assist students overcome educational challenge is through building relationships using mentoring as a strategy. WIE believes that mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people access to someone who cares about them. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have a powerfully positive effect on young people in a variety of personal, academic and professional situations.

Success is measured by the number of people impacted by the GMAD program and successful pairings each year.

WIE engaged an independent Evaluator to conduct an end of year evaluation to measure the success of the pilot program. The evaluation prepared included a review of relevant research including best practices of programs and mentors and relevant literature for the programmatic focus of GMAD. The program site and program components were discussed as well as findings from interviews with student participants and in depth survey data from mentors.

Findings indicated that both mentees and mentors found the GMAD program of value. Mentors demonstrated a clear commitment to the program and to the mentees, Mentees found great value in their mentor relationship. Specifically, mentors provided support, offering insight, advice and growth in four main categories:

  • College and Career: Mentors support information pathways and decision making around coursework, college attendance, and potential career options.
  • Exposure: Mentors exposed mentees to travel, the arts, and cultural activities.
  • Motivational/Inspiration: Mentors motivated and supported mentees toward success
  • Skills: Developing relationships with their mentors provided models and expectations of professional interactions and cultivated social and communications skills.

Several components of the GMAD program that were identified as successful practices within the evaluation participant feedback included:

  • Strong collaboration with school staff
  • Focus on long term mentoring relationship, with the goal of supporting mentees through high school graduation and college enrollment
  • Offering a range of program activities, beyond one-on-one meetings with matched pairs
  • Programmatic focus on college attendance and career pathways.

The program’s model is based on the premise that cross difference relationships can break down racial barriers by exposing participants to people from cultures and therefore dismantle societal barriers which leads to fostering trust

If you have any questions or are interesting in becoming a GMAD mentor or mentee, please contact the GMAD Committee Chairs, Dorothy Counts-Scoggins or Donna Parker-Tate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


IMG 9496On January 17th, the WIE Garinger Mentoring Across Difference (GMAD) program received the 2019 Grassroots Mentoring Organization of the Year Award presented by the Mayor's Mentoring Alliance.

The Mayor's Mentoring Alliance Awards recognizes the extraordinary impact mentorship has on our community.  As some of you may know, the Mayor's Mentoring Alliance educates mentoring organizations about best practices and mentoring standards, ignites impactful and enduring mentor-mentee relationships and connects Charlotte's mentoring community.

WIE Board Chair, Kaniche Bennett, expressed her appreciation,  "Thank you to our very own Dorothy (Dot) Counts, Donna Parker-Tate, Tara Hammons, Stephanie Counts, and Sandra James for the magnificent work done throughout 2018 and we can't wait to see what is in store for 2019! Thanks for your commitment to our mentees and their continued personal and educational development".  

Thanks to Mentor Erin Barbee, Director of Mission Advancement at Aldersgate United Methodist Retirement Community for nominating WIE for this recognition. 


To kickoff 2019 on MLK Jr. Day, the mentors and mentees of WIE GMAD program visited the museum and homesite of Hezekiah Alexander.  This Revolutionary War-era home is located on the grounds of the Charlotte Museum of History. Built in 1774, this two-story stone house is the oldest surviving structure in Mecklenburg County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



On May 22, WIE held a Year End Celebration for the young ladies from Garinger High School in the WIE Mentoring Across Difference (GMAD) program.  The event was held at Altersgate Retirement Community on Shamrock Drive.  Thanks to Aldersgate for hosting and sponsoring this event.


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The Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe dancing "Revelations"


The Women's Inter-Cultural Exchange (WIE) mentees from Garinger High School and their mentors experienced the thrill of a lifetime on February 27th when they visited the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and saw the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe perform.  When asked what they liked about the performance, one mentee replied, "When they were dancing about freedom it reminded me of when I was getting away from the war in Kenya for freedom".  Another stated "I loved the choreography and the uniforms and how everything matched the mood of the dance and the colors how the vibrancy and dullness each complimented each other beautifully".  They also saw the Broadway musical "Finding Neverland" along with their several mentors and friends in October.

Before the performance, the mentees and mentors had dinner together at Cantina 1511  sponsored by Mentor Alyshia Osborne of the Charlotte Center City Partners.  Additional thanks to the Joan Zimmerman and the Blumenthal Performance Arts Center for sponsoring this event.

The WIE Mentoring Across Difference program was developed to complement the students' leadership and development skills and allow them to be more visible to senior level people, both in businesses and the community.  It's an opportunity for these students to receive guidance from leaders they may normally not have access to. This program ensures promising students are nurtured by others who are willing to share their time, experiences and formulas for success in a global society.



On December 7th, thirteen Garinger mentees and a group of mentors made a trip to downtown Charlotte to view the city and hear more about careers in law, banking/finance and urban planning.  Among the sites visited was the office of Robinson Bradshaw where WIE member, Diane Chipps Bailey, spoke to the group about careers in law.  They made a trip through Romare Beardon Park and visited Ally Bank where Ann Cummings and Jennifer Flynn discussed careers in banking and finance.  The group then visited Charlotte Center City Partners for lunch where Cheryl Myers, SVP Planning and Development (architect and designer) and Alysia Osborne, Director of West End Planning discussed city planning careers and answered many questions.  After lunch the tour continued through the Wells Fargo Atrium, Overstreet Mall and Bank of America Founder's Hall.

The outing was planned by Moira Quinn and the staff of Charlotte Center City Partners.


“Today, I glimpsed our future and, rest assured, we are in the very good hands of strong, hardworking and exceptionally capable leaders! Many thanks to Women’ Intercultural Exchange for inviting Robinson Bradshaw to host the top sophomore girls from Garinger High School and share our personal stories and journeys to careers in the law.  Girls, the world awaits your vision and passion and we are here to support every step of the way.” — Dianne Chipps Bailey, MAD mentor


GMAD_2017In 2017, WIE received generous support from Fifth Third Bank and the Carolinas Healthcare System (now Atrium Health) to expand the MAD program to include high school students at Garinger High School, in addition to the college mentoing program. We are grateful to Fifth Third Bank for their continued support of the 2018-2019 GMAD program, which has allow WIE to add 10 additional mentees and 10 mentors to the program.”

The GMAD program was also awarded a grant from the Foundation for the Carolinas to fund the professional evaluation of the high school pilot program.  Dr. Amy Hawn Nelson conducted the comprehensive evaluation which included a review of relevant literature, best practices, and confirmed the need and impact of the program with recommendations to expand the number of mentees and to focus the program on leadership and career development as well as college preparation.

The goal of the expansion is to offer 15 mentees via the collaboration between WIE and GHS. The students will be given the tools needed to build trust across generation, race, culture and socio-economics, leading them on a path of success in the global economy. Cultivated and mentored graduates are more-likely to have a greater positive impact economically, socially and financially as they continue their education via universities, technical schools (career readiness) and become successful community members.

Mentors commit to the program for one academic year. The program includes orientations, goal-setting and intensive interaction between the pairs through a series of one-on-one meetings, group settings and electronic communications.

GMAD BlumenthalGMAD 6392It was a perfect opportunity for the students in the WIE college and high school mentoring programs to meet each and have some fun together.  On October 3rd the two groups along with Gwen Garnett, WIE Program Coordinator, and several mentors and friends attended "Finding Neverland", Broadway’s biggest new hit and the winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical.  This breathtaking smash hit captured the kid-at-heart in everyone who attended as it tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters - Peter Pan.


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Garinger High School Mentoring Across Difference Participants

  • Jaela Agee

    Jaela Agee

  • Zakiya Erwin

    Zakiya Erwin

  • Melissa Figueroa

    Melissa Figueroa

  • Mekhiyah Howze

    Mekhiyah Howze

  • Alycia Lemus

    Alycia Lemus

  • Madina Maingua

    Madina Maingua

  • Sintya Martinez

    Sintya Martinez

  • Cindy Nguyen

    Cindy Nguyen

  • Kelly Turrubiartes

    Kelly Turrubiartes

  • Shaniya Williamson

    Shaniya Williamson

2018-2019 GMAD Orientation

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Garinger HS Mentoring Across Difference Orientation

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