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Q&A with “Rookie of the Year” Mentor Award Winner Erin Homan

April 20, 2015

Cecil Shorts III “Rookie of the Year” Mentor Award winner Erin Homan shared with us about her life as a professional and as a mentor. We congratulate Erin on her achievement and are grateful for the difference she is making in the life of her mentee.

Erin Homan shared her valuable insights as a first-year mentor, and earned Cecil Shorts III's "Rookie of the Year" Mentor Award.
Erin Homan shared her valuable insights as a first-year mentor, and earned Cecil Shorts III’s “Rookie of the Year” Mentor Award.

Tell us a little bit about your background. 

I am a second-generation Northeast Florida native, born in Orange Park and raised in the Mandarin area. All of my immediate family and most of my extended relatives live in the Jacksonville area. I have been married to my wonderful Navy-veteran-turned-banker-husband for almost seven years, and am the proud pet parent of three rabbits and a turtle.

What do you do for work?

I have worked at CSX Transportation in Jacksonville for the last 6.5 years, and am currently serving as the projects and analytics manager for CSX’s employee service
center. This is an internal consulting position, in which I work with different customer groups to answer questions about team functioning and productivity.

Why do you mentor?

I mentor as a way of giving back to my community. I think back to all the caring, impactful mentors in my life growing up, and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Jacksonville is a diverse, multi-faceted city with boundless potential, and will only keep getting better based on the efforts to develop our young people. Also, I think that there is no better way to become more self-aware of how you come across to others than to be a mentor. When you sign up to be a mentor, you’re signing yourself up to be an accountable party in contributing to what can grow into a strong bond.

How did you get involved with Achievers For Life? How long have you been an AFL mentor?

CSX is an amazing place to work, and is a strong supporter of volunteering efforts in the community. I attended an onsite information fair about non-profits benefiting school-age children in the Jacksonville community, and Achievers For Life stood out as a program in which I may have been able to provide support. Lucky for me, my manager at CSX was also signing up for the AFL program, so we balanced on which days we would visit our mentees while still managing the office at CSX. The Dollars for Doers program at CSX allowed me the flexibility to mentor a student and still accomplish my job responsibilities, and in the process, earn hourly credits towards a lump sum that I’ll be able to donate to a non-profit of my choosing.

Can you tell us a little bit about your mentee? Her background? The changes you’ve seen? 

From the first time I met her, I knew that Phillia has the energy and passion to be anything she wants to be. She always has new experiences she wants to share with me, friends she wants to talk about, and progress in school she wants to discuss to keep her goals moving forward. Throughout our mentoring this school year, she has become more introspective about what she wants out of life, and how she is managing her emotions and relationships with friends and family. She is very reflective of interpersonal interactions, and doesn’t make light of any opportunity to learn more about herself and how she is seen by others.  It’s a really beautiful experience to a part of her journey, and I see great things for her as she makes positive choices in her own behavior and continues to establish her role as a social leader amongst her peers.

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Erin’s passion for mentoring is contagious, and we are thankful for her willingness to impact the lives of students and help them stay on a path to success in and out of the classroom. You rock, Erin! Want to join Erin as an Achievers For Life mentor?

[button link=”https://www.unitedwaynefl.org/volunteer/sign-up?number=Individual+Volunteer&opportunity=Achievers+For+Life+Mentor”]Sign Up Now[/button]