Edmonton’s municipal election race is about to end after almost a year of campaigning, scores of Zoom debates, millions of dollars spent, and many high-profile candidates. The next step is up to you, the voter. You’ve to make your decisions on Monday, October 18, 2021. 

Usually, this time of year is a busy one for interVivos. As you know, we organize nonpartisan municipal election events to have deep discussions on issues that matter. Our board of directors is still concerned about everyone’s safety, so arranging an in-person event was not the right thing to do during the fourth wave. We also know that our audience has severe Zoom fatigue! If you’re nostalgic, you can click here to watch a short video debrief from our last municipal election event in 2017 and to read a “What We Heard Document.” Many of the top-of-mind issues from 2017 remain the same this election—housing, homelessness, transit, and diversity on council.  

This election is your opportunity to shape the direction of your community by choosing our leaders for the next four years. Sadly, it is a responsibility that too few electors have taken up in the past. Only around 30 percent of Edmonton’s eligible voters went to the polls in the last civic election. 

It is heartening that 10 percent of voters have already voted in Edmonton’s advance polls. That could herald a significantly healthier participation rate among electors. However, the pandemic might deter others who aren’t sure about the public health measures in place despite preparations to deliver a safe election: thttps://www.edmonton.ca/city-government/edmonton-elections/voting-election/safe-election

Anyone concerned about moving past the pandemic and other issues such as better urban transit, climate change, fair taxes, clean streets, efficient garbage collection and recycling, recreational facilities, and well-maintained roads has good reason to vote. So, too, does anyone who cares about the quality and future of local schools. Click here to find out more about where to vote: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/municipal_elections/find-your-voting-station

Electing the wrong people to the local office could trigger long-term damage in all these areas of the public sector. That’s why it’s so important for voters to be informed and take the time to cast a ballot and act on their best judgment for the mayor, councilors, and school board trustees. Our friends from Taproot Edmonton have put together this handy survey to help people decide: https://edmonton.taproot.vote/2021/surveys/peoples-agenda/match. Find out who you agree with most before you go to vote!

The 2021 Edmonton Election also includes the senate nominee election and two referendum votes. We have pulled some links together to help those still struggling with their decisions on the two referendums.

Good luck making your decisions, and thank you for your commitment to democracy. The City of Edmonton has suspended election fares on October 18, making it even easier for you to cast your ballot. 

Make sure to check us out for in-person dialogue events in 2022 on issues that matter to Edmonton and area residents. If you are interested in collaborating with us on an event, please contact the board at connect@intervivos.ca

Since the planning for our Fall 2021 mentorship program launch has wrapped, we wanted to take some time to highlight the vital work that our board is doing to impact the Edmonton community to bring people together. 

If you’ve been following interVivos for a while, you know that we’ve been bringing people together way before the pandemic. Since 2006, interVivos has connected nearly 700 mentors and protégés through its semi-annual mentorship program.

People are often surprised to learn that we have no paid staff. Our programs and  events are made possible through the hard work of the interVivos volunteer board. Many volunteer hours go into producing and running our programs and events for Edmontonians “behind the scenes”. 

Our board is small and mighty. We are currently only five board members, mostly  BIPOC women, from a variety of backgrounds and industries. In addition, we are supported by two unpaid board interns. Learn more about our board members and interns here

While many people who’ve been stuck at home during the pandemic have binged a new Netflix series or become a master baker, our board has been using this extra time to develop even more mentorship programs and resources. When the pandemic hit, we quickly pivoted and have now launched three mentorship programs virtually. As a result, we have supported 66 mentors and protégés during the pandemic.

It’s always lovely to receive kudos. Some comments about our pandemic mentorship programming:

  • “I’ve been a part of many networking opportunities in the past years, wine and cheese, speed networking, etc., in both the capacity of protégé and mentor. I’ve seen some terrible things happen out of these events because of the power dynamics that are the foundation of networking sometimes. I entered interVivos with very low expectations, but I was so pleased with this program. You all have worked
    very hard, and it shows! The structured approach and all the thoughts and care you put in from the training to considerations about power, social media promotion, and the little thank-you’s are all very much appreciated. Thank you for having me–I’ve enjoyed my experience!”.
  • “Excellent job organizing the program, including the orientation, launch evening and information provided throughout. You are a truly fantastic group of people that use their free time to make a difference in the community.”

In the spirit of giving back to our community during the pandemic, our board ispassionate about keeping our mentorship program costs low. Protégés choose their fee to participate in our programs. The fees collected are directly invested in our programs, events, and nonprofit costs. We also provide free protégé spots to local nonprofits. interVivos is always looking for more nonprofit groups to offer protégé spots to for free. If you know of an organization that could benefit, email connect@intervivos.ca.

Be sure to check us out on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) to stay up to date on all things interVivos.  Feel free also to drop us a line at connect@intervivos.ca with any questions that you may have.

interVivos is thrilled to highlight a roster of amazing volunteer mentors for its Fall 2021 Mentorship Program.

We asked each of them to share one thing they’ve learned from one of their own mentors. Check out what they had to say in their own words.

“It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay not to have all the answers. Try and learn something new from each interaction you have. They may not all lead somewhere, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your time.” – Chelsey Quirk

“The power of mindfulness: that no matter how challenging and seemingly impossible your current situation is, there is always something to learn from, appreciate, and find happiness in. Joy and satisfaction are available to you at any time. All it takes is a shift in perspective.” – Christina Ignacio-Deines

“The power of authenticity.” – Christine Channer Auguste

“Spend time figuring out your values and beliefs that you are not willing to sacrifice. Set your goals based on those values and work on achieving them without sacrificing your values and beliefs. Even small steps towards should be celebrated. Be ok with taking a wrong turn too as long as you reflect and learn and grow from that experience. Just keep moving, you will get there at your own timelines. Don’t compare yourself to others, just be your best self.” – Darija Slokar-Zlatarevic

“The importance of surrounding yourself with good mentors.” – François Bourdeau

“To create situations where everyone benefits.” – Kevin Taft

“The importance of clearly communicated expectations when delegating and empowering staff.”
– Matt Schuurman

“That some of my strongest skills like creative thinking and verbal communication — which people call “soft skills” — get easily written off as unimportant, when in reality they’re tremendously valuable and not everyone has them.” – Puneeta McBryan

“You can have more than one mentor or coach for various stages of your life. Always remember the root of your why and stay genuine to who you are.” – ​​Renée Chan

“The importance of dialogue and face-to-face interactions within relationship building, stakeholder relations and in establishing a healthy team environment.” – Trent Daley

“It is not how smart you are, but it is how you are smart.” – Wing Chan

In fall 2020, interVivos launched its first mentorship program featuring volunteer mentors who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (BIPOC). 

With this mentorship program, interVivos aimed to amplify minority voices, as people of colour are dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles across Canada. 

“It is important to take proactive and purposeful action to ensure that different voices are heard, included, and supported across the spectrum of roles,” says Zohreh Saher, interVivos president. “If we fail to challenge the system, we perpetuate the norm, which means that we wait for change to catch up rather than embracing and meeting it.”

Representing various industries and professional backgrounds, mentors and protégés were matched for six months. After a lively round of virtual “speed-rotations ” on Zoom at the online launch party in November 2020, mentor Abby Aiyeleye and protégé Charmaine Lowe were matched for 6 months.

Charmaine sat down to interview her mentor Abby about why she wanted to participate in the BIPOC mentorship program and her thoughts on mentorship in general. 

Abby is a seasoned project manager, strategic planner, and entrepreneur. Originally from Nigeria, Abby has been in Canada for six years, with some years in between spent in London, England, where she attended Greenwich University to study Business Administration. She got her first taste of entrepreneurship selling stuff on eBay, followed by owning and operating a specialty lingerie business with her sister. Her most recent venture is the home design app Clavis Studio, which she co-founded with her husband. The business plan for Clavis Studio won “best pitch – new business” and “best immigrant project – general” from Business Link in 2020. 

In fall 2020, Abby received a message on LinkedIn from Zohreh Saher saying she thought Abby would be a great fit as a mentor for the BIPOC mentorship program and asked if she’d be interested in participating. “I was so flattered!” Abby jokes, continuing to add that she’s had mentors in the past who have helped her grow, so having the chance to give back, in the same way, made her jump at the opportunity. Before interVivos, Abby mentored over a dozen people, both men, and women, because Abby loves helping people “reach for the stars.”

Recounting the interVivos process of matching up mentors, which involves all mentors and protégés meeting for 6 minutes at a time for the speed rotations, Abby says she was first apprehensive of the set-up but ended up loving the format. “It felt like speed-dating,” she says with a laugh. “I thought I wouldn’t have anything to talk about, and I ended up talking to everyone!”

One of the biggest worries both Abby and Charmaine had about participating in the mentorship program was fit. Both worried about not having much to talk about but ended up having so many things in common, from living in London, UK, to their passion for women’s empowerment and wishing to see more women in leadership roles. 

Abby and Charmaine both agree the narrative lens in Canada is still very much white and male, which is why Abby especially wanted to be a part of the BIPOC mentorship program.

“I hope I can provide two lenses for you: one of growth, and one where you understand the perspective I bring being black, being African, being a woman, being an immigrant,” she says. 

Abby goes on to elaborate that we all have intersections that make us who we are, and making an effort to diversify our perspectives helps us connect more with other people: “In the long run, these things impact your intersectionality as well. There are so many things that make us up as people, and that’s exciting. It’s a great way to connect with other people.”

Abby has some very clear advice for people who are interested in participating in a mentorship program. 

“Make sure you have a clear goal in mind for what you want to get out of the mentorship program,” she says. “Help your mentor understand that goal. Then, don’t be afraid to ask for help or rely on someone else’s expertise. Finally, be open to whoever you are given as a mentor. You’d be surprised at what the person has to offer and at their connections.” 

Abby encourages anyone looking for professional guidance to “participate, participate, participate! The mentors for this program were so diverse; it’s awesome! I was so impressed. I would do this again.” 

Registration for the Fall 2021 mentorship program is now open for protégés. Sign up here: https://fall2021registration.eventbrite.ca/.

Are you interested in being a volunteer mentor for a future program? Email connect@intervivos.ca to find out more. 

The Fall 2021 Mentorship Program is sold out! Join our waitlist for future programs here.

Follow us on social media (FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing listso you don’t miss out on your next chance to become a protégé. 


interVivos is launching our Fall 2021 Mentorship Program on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Ambitious professionals from the Edmonton area are invited to take part in the ever-popular interVivos mentorship program. Sign up now!

Our board of directors is still concerned about everyone’s safety, so we will be launching virtually over Zoom. The program will take place from October 2021 to March 2022. Mentors and protégés are welcome to meet in person or virtually throughout the 6-month program for their match meetings. 

Fall is a time to start fresh. After everything we’ve been through this past year, this is an opportunity for you to build new and diverse connections in Edmonton. Become a protégé and connect with Edmonton’s best and brightest. As well, you’ll work on your professional goals and “level up” in your community. Find out more about our mentorship programs by visiting our mentorship page and get the answers to your burning questions.

Here’s what some recent interVivos participants said about their experience:

  • “I loved the opportunity to work through some of the professional roadblocks and barriers I had been experiencing and having the feedback and guidance of someone who had been through similar situations and could help me to navigate them. My mentor also provided me with tangible exercises that I could do to help me gain clarity about my professional aspirations and goals and practically talk through how I can achieve them (or take the first steps). My mentor also has a wealth of knowledge about their industry since they are in a field that I am personally interested in–they had great resources to link me to and networks to connect with. ”
  • “It felt like I could fit professional advancement into my already busy schedule with the flexibility of the program requirements. My mentor was so fantastic, and her success inspires me! Our relationship is a place of mutual learning and respect, and I am looking forward to fostering this connection. We worked through some complex challenges, and I feel like I made some significant progress.”
  • “I’ve been a part of many networking opportunities in the past years, wine and cheese, speed networking, etc., in both the capacity of protégé and mentor. I’ve seen some terrible things happen out of these events because of the power dynamics that are the foundation of networking sometimes. I entered interVivos with very low expectations, but I was so pleased with this program. You all have worked very hard, and it shows! The structured approach and all the thoughts and care you put in from the training to considerations about power, to social media promotion, to the little thank-you’s – it’s all very much appreciated. Thank you for having me–I’ve enjoyed my experience!”. 

The following are the confirmed volunteer mentors for the Fall 2021 mentorship program:

Protégés choose their fee to participate in the program. The fees collected from protégés are directly invested in our programs, events, and non-profit costs. We also provide free protégé spots to local nonprofits.

A reminder that you can register to be a protégé by visiting: https://fall2021registration.eventbrite.ca. Limited spots are available!

Find out more by visiting our FAQ page and getting the answers to your burning questions.

Fall 2021 Program Sponsors

Thank you to our Co-Presenting Sponsors: RSM Canada and Park Power.

Thank you to our program sponsors:

Thank you to our Program Sponsors: InciteVSM PhotoDowntown Business AssociationRapid Fire TheatreCanaJan inc.Token NaturalsFace Ginch Handmade Masks and Doughnut Party.

 

 

Be sure to check us out on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) to stay up to date on all things interVivos and find out more about our Fall 2021 mentors.   Feel free also to drop us a line at connect@intervivos.ca with any questions that you may have.

Victoria Pearson was our Youth@ the Table (YATT) Board Member this past year. 

Launched in 2019, YATT is Volunteer Alberta’s youth engagement initiative. This program aims to create governance opportunities for young people ages 18 to 30 interested in the nonprofit sector. This is our second year participating. 

Over the years, we’ve hosted many post-secondary students and recent grads who come to us from various provincial and federally funded programs. During their time with our organization, they’ve learned and gained skills while working on projects that help engage and shape the broader community. Many have continued to work with interVivos for years to come after the end of their programs.

We chatted with Victoria virtually to find out more about her and what her interVivos experience meant to her.

What does interVivos mean to you?

interVivos represents connection within Edmonton. It is hard to find an ambitious and future-driven community as a young professional, making interVivos unique.

How did your involvement with interVivos help you build your confidence?

As a member of the interVivos board, I participated fully in board governance and exercised my existing leadership skills. The opportunity to join as a YATT representative allowed me to strengthen my confidence in myself because I learned that my skills were valued. In addition, I felt genuinely listened to and appreciated by the interVivos Board Members. Thank you to everyone for this opportunity! 

How did being a part of interVivos help you build your professional network?

interVivos helped me build my network by enabling my participation in their mentorship program as a protégé. As a young professional, I do not yet have an established professional network to help me find a mentor. interVivos connected me to a fantastic mentor who still guides me with their confidence and insight into common professional challenges faced by women. I am so excited to continue learning from my mentor and growing my network. 

How did volunteering with interVivos support your career goals?

Job searching can be challenging in the best of times, but looking for a job in the middle of a global pandemic made the whole process feel bleak and demoralizing. However, my time with interVivos helped me build my confidence and grow my professional networks. I have been connected with a mentor through the interVivos mentorship program. I have also been associated with the excellent and passionate board members at interVivos, who I look to for guidance and expertise.

Why should post-secondary students and recent grads get involved with interVivos?

I am always encouraging young people to get involved in a cause they believe in. Volunteering is the best way to effect change in your community. interVivos is an excellent organization to get involved with because so many talented people are involved in the organization at all levels. They are passionate about the programming they deliver and are dedicated to improving the professional community in Edmonton. They are also committed to increasing public awareness of important topics like civic engagement and inclusivity. Even though we could only meet virtually this past year, I felt welcomed as soon as I began my time with interVivos.

What is your advice for young people in Edmonton?

My advice for young people in Edmonton is never to forget what you want to improve. There is probably an organization out there working to accomplish just that, and if there isn’t, it’s time it was built! We are not too young or inexperienced to achieve our goals. We just have more time to do so. We have the lived experience, knowledge, and passion for building a more equitable community. 

Are you looking for a unique way to volunteer and give back to the community? Get involved with interVivos!  Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter) or join our mailing list so you don’t miss out on your chance to get connected. You can also email us anytime with your questions.

Help keep interVivos #HereForGood by purchasing a one-of-a-kind interVivos tee here! Your purchase will ensure that our volunteer-run nonprofit can continue to engage Edmontonians during the pandemic and beyond. Each tee is made with care and excitement right here in #YEG by The Print Machine. Proceeds from each shirt will help us build momentum towards our vision of a generation of inspired and informed leaders. Be one of the first ten people to purchase a limited-edition tee and receive a FREE doughnut from our longtime friends, Doughnut Party!

That’s not all. All purchasers will also be entered to win an interVivos experience package, valued at $130! Just e-mail a copy of your receipt to connect@intervivos.ca to claim your prize and be entered to win. This contest runs until June 30, 2021. The interVivos Experience Package includes:

  • a $100 gift card for future interVivos events and programs; and 
  • a Club Doughnut Punch Card (Punch Card entitles the holder to 12 doughnuts in total, one doughnut per visit, and is valued at $29.95). 

Want to bolster other local businesses? So do we! We have some fantastic community partners and we want to keep their businesses going for years to come. We encourage you to check out the other unique local companies that are #HereforGood. You can purchase their shirts here to show your admiration for what they do and encourage them to keep making their outstanding contribution to our city.

We hope to see your shirts in person when it’s safe to connect again. Until then, share your pics with us using the hashtag #HereForGood and tag interVivos! In the meantime, take a peek at some of our Board Members showingtheir love of interVivos with their shirts!

 

Suppose your closet is complete at the moment, but you still want to assist interVivos. In that case, you can still help us by making a small donation: https://intervivos-mentorship-society-of-alberta.square.site/   

 

 

 

Madison Lorenz is an HR Representative with Connect Logistics Services Inc. She is a University of Alberta grad and interned with interVivos as part of the Community Service Learning (CSL) program before joining the board officially in May 2020. Madison became a part of the executive in fall 2020 when she was elected secretary by her fellow volunteer board members.

We had a virtual chat with Madison to find out why she volunteers her time with us and why post-secondary students and recent grads should get more involved with interVivos.

What does interVivos mean to you?

interVivos is a place where you can put yourself out there and gain knowledge from those around you. interVivos has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am continually growing and helping my community come together, even during this time of distancing. 

How does your involvement with interVivos help you build your confidence?

interVivos is the first non-profit board that I have been a part of. When I started with the organization, I had limited awareness of how a board operates or what is needed from board members. However, I was eager to gain experience and increase my knowledge. Being on the interVivos board has allowed me to gain the confidence to bring my ideas forward and participate in meaningful dialogue. I am now more confident collaborating with others on the board to execute our programs and events successfully. I have also picked up so many skills that I had little exposure to before joining the board. It is refreshing to do different professional things outside of work. I am now more assertive with sticking my hand up to volunteer to do new tasks at my 9-5 job and as a board member.

How does being a part of interVivos help you build your professional network?

Being on the interVivos board has allowed me to meet diverse people through our events and programs, such as our volunteer mentors. One of my roles for a few of our mentorship programs was the mentor and protégé liaison. I was responsible for communicating with all the program participants, so I networked with diverse community leaders. I have grown my LinkedIn contacts as a result. I have also met many amazing people who sit on our board and feel fortunate to work with a group of hard-working professionals who impact our community even during the pandemic.

How does volunteering with interVivos support your career goals?

As a recent graduate, I am trying to discover as much as I can through hands-on experience, which is why I enjoy being on the interVivos board. interVivos has allowed me to work on different tasks from my paid job, such as social media. There have also been times when I can apply what I have gained from volunteering to my paid work. Being on the board has enhanced my confidence to share my thoughts and ideas, as I mentioned above. This confidence has flowed into my work. I am now leading projects at work, and I look forward to contributing my ideas to any team I am a part of, whereas I was more reserved in the past. 

What is the best advice you have received during your time with interVivos?

To try new things. When I first started at the University of Alberta, I never thought that I would do certain things because they seemed uncomfortable. I never thought that I would join a board, complete a certificate with Community Service Learning or work on campus, but all of those achievements have helped me become who I am today. As a student, you have so many opportunities to get involved with the broader community or campus. Even though it may seem scary or you do not know what you are doing at the start, you will come out the other side with some fantastic memories.

Why should post-secondary students and recent grads get involved with interVivos?

There are many ways students and recent grads can get involved with interVivos, and each way has different benefits. You will receive a lot of great advice and support from our volunteer mentors if you participate in our mentorship programs. The mentors I have had a chance to meet are great! I have not participated as a protégé yet, but I will do it when it is suitable for my career.  If you want to know the perspective of a post-secondary student who participated as a protégé, then check out Nicole Rodriguez’s interview with interVivos. Through our community engagement events, students can become more involved in the Edmonton community and meet others with similar interests. If you join the interVivos board as an intern or board member, you can gain many unique skills and expand your professional circle, as I have. No matter how you choose to get involved with interVivos, you will better yourself.

What is your advice for post-secondary students in Edmonton?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Many of my best opportunities and learning moments came from putting myself out there and being vulnerable. Also, don’t be scared to speak up. When you are the most junior person in the room, you may think that your opinion doesn’t matter, but in my experience, students and new grads bring a fresh viewpoint to the conversation. You’ll be surprised to learn that many people want to hear what we’ve to say.

Are you a post-secondary student or new graduate who’d like to be more involved with interVivos?  Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list, so you don’t miss out on your chance to get connected. You can also email us anytime with your questions.

interVivos recognizes the importance of supporting one another in creating a sense of belonging for all—which is why we strive to create programs and events that can help build this sense in the Edmonton community. 

In Fall 2020, we launched our very first mentorship program to showcase Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) volunteer mentors. There are unique challenges and opportunities associated with being a BIPOC professional in Edmonton. One of our Fall 2020 Mentors, Keenan Pascal, recently shared about his own challenges in an Edmonton Journal article, “A lot of times you’re like the only Black guy in the room in a lot of these professional circles. It’s just (the) reality. In the beginning, you’re a little shyer, you’re a little, like, ‘Nobody looks like me,’ they don’t have the same background to connect. It kind of forced me to quickly evolve in terms of having to be more outgoing. I can’t sit in the back and be the quiet Black guy. You’ve got to put your hand up and get noticed.” 

interVivos endeavours to create a safe space for our participants to share these experiences. For our BIPOC program, we recognized that some of our mentors and protégés may wish to discuss the challenges of being BIPOC or may simply want to learn more about these experiences. We welcomed this critical dialogue and even created a unique BIPOC Resources List for our program participants to help them get more informed, find additional support, or connect with other community organizations engaging in these critical conversations. 

One volunteer mentor shared about the safe space that interVivos created: “Really impressed with how this process rolled out and the thought and intention behind it. It is great to see the board, already a very diverse group of young women, driven to take diversity and inclusion training to ensure the program addresses any potential power mishap. I’ve personally been in networking and mentorship events/programs where mentors grossly abused their position given the stage and power dynamics that were intentionally set up to be highly imbalanced. Not once did I feel uncomfortable, and I did feel everyone was valued and appreciated, whether they are mentors or protéges”.

At interVivos, we desire to put the utmost care and attention into our programs and events to empower the next generation of leaders. We continue to do this by engaging with the community, participating in training, and sharing our resources with Edmontonians like you.  If you have ideas for other resources to include or have something you’d like to teach us, please send an email to mentorship@intervivos.ca. We would love to connect with you! 

Are you interested in participating in a future mentorship program? Sign up for our mailing list and never miss an update! 

The COVID-19 virus caused everyone to change how they communicate with each other. For interVivos, it changed the way we “meet” as a board and how we run our programs, like modifying our in-person mentorship program into a virtual one

At the pandemic’s onset, interVivos evaluated if we could continue our programming through a public health emergency. We wanted to dialogue with the community-at-large in a safe and engaging way.

interVivos was fortunate enough to facilitate two mentorship program launches via Zoom in 2020. We were able to connect 23 protégés with 23 mentors in our community. In early 2021, we chatted with a Fall 2020 protégé and mentor to hear their thoughts about interVivos and the program launch.

Our protégé perspective comes from Bonnie Chiu. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 2019 with a Degree in Human Ecology and is currently working in healthcare philanthropy. She first heard about interVivos through our posts on LinkedIn and eventually decided to sign up as a protégé for the Fall 2020 Program— her very first experience with interVivos. “I wanted to expand my social and professional network. I find that those opportunities, especially now [due to the pandemic], can be more difficult to come by.” 

We asked her to share more about her experience with the mentorship program launch. “It was a very positive experience for me. I felt there was great communication from interVivos leading up to the event, on event day, and afterwards. It is tough to run a virtual event, but everything was well-planned and running very smoothly.  I enjoyed connecting with everyone— it was the most social interaction I’ve had in months beyond my usual circle.”

Bonnie loved that the event showcased the unique talents and people in Edmonton. “I walked away with a lot of great advice from the 13 mentors during the speed rotations. There were so many takeaways just in that one night!  I’m looking forward to staying involved with interVivos and whatever they plan in the future when they can run more events programs.”

Renée Williams, Vice President Customer Experience at the Fort Edmonton Management Company, was a first-time mentor for our Fall 2020 Program. She heard about interVivos through her friend, Mary Bailey of The Tomato, who was a Summer 2020 mentor. Renée decided to join as a mentor for our first program focused on highlighting Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (or BIPOC) volunteer mentors because she would have loved to have had a mentor who looked like her during her career journey. 

“I have been very successful in the communications and tourism industry, but I often feel like I did it on my own. As the only Black woman in a senior leadership position in the tourism industry across the province, I am a rarity in this field. Mentorship programs like these are important. I want my son to see himself in a career because representation is an opportunity that I did not have. I want to give him every opportunity to succeed, and these programs can help make that happen for people like him.” 

We spoke to Renée about her first-time experience with interVivos. “The launch was very well thought out and thorough. Everything was organized and easy to understand. I was impressed with the mentors at interVivos. Many of my former colleagues have been involved with interVivos in the past. There were also many mentors participating in the program that I was interested in connecting with in the future!” 

Renée was also impressed with the talent she saw in the protégé pool at the event. “There were so many protégés with diverse interests like government, politics, or simply looking to make a career shift. I learned little nuggets from each person I met. The world will be set up for great success if mentors and protégés are interested in making things better by reaching out, connecting, and asking questions.” 

Thank you to all of the fantastic mentors and protégés who have been involved with interVivos for the past 15 years! We are delighted to share the many unique talents and perspectives that our community has to offer. 

interVivos is always looking for protégés and mentors from all backgrounds for our future programs. You can follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list, so you don’t miss out on your opportunity to get more involved with our organization.