Elizabeth Dunbar of Stowe has joined the MENTOR Vermont board of directors, along with Christine Auriemma of South Burlington.
Dunbar lives and works in Stowe as the senior media planner for Karen Fahey Advertising, working with many Vermont organizations including Cabot Creamery Cooperative and the Vermont Department for Tourism and Marketing. She has more than seven years of professional experience in marketing and media planning, and previously worked for Hill Holiday in Boston, Mass., supporting clients including Dunkin’ Donuts and Planet Fitness.
Since 2017, she has volunteered as a mentor through the Cambridge Elementary School mentoring program.
“I’m excited to be joining the MENTOR Vermont Board as a young professional bringing distinct passion for the betterment of our Vermont communities, especially as it pertains to youth programs,” Dunbar said. “In the shared time I have spent with my mentee, he has flourished and shown positive growth in the areas of hands-on woodworking, critical thinking, and time spent interacting with nature.”
Auriemma is currently the Branch Manager for Community Bank, NA in South Burlington, a position she has held since 2017. She was previously the regional manager for Merchants Bank, and has more than 25 years of experience in banking. Throughout her career, she has facilitated financial literacy classes for both kids and adults, and has also seen the benefits of mentoring on a professional level.
“When I first became a regional manager my division manager mentored me,” Auriemma said. “We would discuss successes and challenges with decisions ultimately up to me. I appreciated the time she took to listen and give valuable feedback. My work place roles have also allowed me to mentor staff members. I have enjoyed each of these opportunities as I have learned a lot from those that I have mentored and created some long-lasting relationships.”
Dunbar and Auriemma are filling vacancies left by former board members Bonnie Ferro and Lauren Brumsted Layman, who recently transitioned off the board after many years of service.
The MENTOR Vermont Board is comprised of a combination of community members and up to four mentoring program directors from across the state, and oversees the organization’s efforts to provide resources and support to youth mentoring programs in Vermont so they can meet the needs of young people in their communities.
The importance of mentors
According to the “Mentoring Effect,” a study released in 2014 by the National Mentoring Partnership, one in three youth in Vermont will enter adulthood without having a formal or informal mentoring relationship with a caring adult.
National studies by MENTOR and Big Brothers Big Sisters demonstrate that youth with mentors are less likely to engage in risky behavior with drugs and alcohol, and they are more likely to develop positive relationships with peers and adults and pursue college and other post-secondary opportunities.
Based on the 2019 Vermont mentoring surveys, more than two-thirds of middle and high school youth supported by mentoring programs in Vermont say they feel like they matter to people in their community.
MENTOR Vermont (formerly known as Mobius) supports 140 adult-to-youth mentoring program sites that serve 2,300 mentor pairs throughout the state.
In addition to managing the Vermont mentoring grants, the organization provides technical support to mentoring program staff, maintains an online program directory and referral system for volunteers, manages a quality-based program management database, raises public awareness of mentoring, works with programs to ensure they are meeting best practices, and leads statewide mentoring initiatives.
More information: mentorvt.org.