In 2014, I joined the AIGA Central Pennsylvania board as communications chair. I had helped form a student group at Millersville, as an undergrad, and went to as many events as I could when the chapter put them on, hoping to network and meet designers in my area. I also began to keep an eye on the Philadelphia chapter and what they were up to (AIGA has 72 chapters across the country).
AIGA Philadelphia had a mentorship program that I wanted to exist in Central Pennsylvania so badly. I knew I needed to form mentor-like relationships with designers in my area to get to where I wanted to be in two years, let alone five and ten, but I had no idea where to begin with creating those relationships. So, I got involved. Three years later - the mentorship program is piloting this fall.
My hope for the program is that it helps create a culture of mentorship in Central Pennsylvania, in our agencies and companies and in our community, as a whole. A culture of mentorship leads to a culture of creating and allowing for better support of one another, which strengthens the community and the profession. I hope to facilitate better relationships between designers emerging into the field, full of questions with those who've experienced 5+ years in the field. There's something to be said about sharing a human experience - and the benefit of that.