Mia Martinelli in uniform

From my experience in Teens Listen, I have been able to hear many stories from different perspectives. I thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing with the interviewees about their life. I heard about the heartbreak of loosing a loved one and I saw the smile that grew as a wife described memories with her husband. I absorbed the pearls of wisdom that were shared, and I sat in awe of the success of businesswomen in a male dominated business world. I listened to experiences of those who were forced to endure segregation. None of these experiences would have happened sitting in a classroom, but in many ways, they were more influential. 

I went home beaming. It brings me so much joy to consider [Ms. Walker] my mentor and friend.

Mia martinelli

With that being said, I would like to share one of my favorite experiences from Teens Listen. I was leading the interview with Ms. Walker, a glass ceiling breaker. Towards the end of the interview she asked me about what I plan to do after high school. I was enduring some tough challenges at the time that dulled my confidence. When I explained these challenges, instantly, she believed in me and in my ability to achieve my goals more than I had in a while. I went home beaming. It brings me so much joy to consider her my mentor and friend. Her uplifting spirit and positive influence is still with me today; We have talked over the phone multiple times since the interview. I appreciate the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation for giving me the opportunity to meet such great quality people through Teens Listen.

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