I have had people in my life who not only believed in me but helped to guide me through my career journey. I’ve had people to tell me of opportunities or to hear my name and ensure that I was considered for an opportunity.
I would be so foolish to say that I’ve made it where I am on my own.
I am grateful for those individuals who saw something in me that I did not see in myself.
I went to a virtual women’s conference earlier in the week and the speaker shared that she had three type of people who helped her through her career: (1) Mentor; (2) Coach; and (3) Sponsor.
I believe that these are all people that we need to have in our lives on a personal and professional level as well.
- A mentor is a person who serves as a guide for a set period of time.
- A coach is someone who holds us accountable and ensures that we complete a task.
- A sponsor is someone who not only sees an opportunity but also considers us for an opportunity.
Today, I want to talk about someone who has been like a mentor, a coach and a sponsor to me during my career as a social worker.
I met Judy Prince, while I was working in my BSW field placement.
Judy has worked in the field of social worker for over forty years. She does a wonderful job of advocating and creating opportunities for disadvantaged individuals. Judy has worked in supervisory and managerial roles and also operated a private therapy practice for several years.
Judy worked at an alternative medicine clinic at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama before it closed its inpatient hospital side. She allowed me to volunteer during one of her pain clinics. As a volunteer, I was able to lead patients with chronic physical pain through a guided meditation as a form of alternative medicine.
Judy is a white lady in her early-mid60s from Paint Rock Valley, Alabama. I don’t know if you know anything about Paint Rock Valley (I didn’t before she told me about it!) but it was drastically different from where I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama.
Judy is legally blind but has not allowed that to limit her in any way. She went to the Colorado school for Blind a few years ago in order to learn ways to navigate her environment.
As time went on and I needed help with finding a MSW internship, Judy contacted one of her people. She told them about my situation and pretty soon, I had an internship. Any time Judy that would hear of continuing education events, job opportunities or simply community events, she would inform me.
Judy played a very influential role in where I am today in my professional career.
I am forever grateful that God allowed Judy Prince and I to cross paths!