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October 25, 2022
I decided to participate in the Engage! Cleveland mentorship program because of my love for the city and what it has to offer its young professionals and I attended a few events before joining the program. From the welcoming experiences, I was eager to unite with the next cohort. So, I did! I also wanted to meet and network with other young professionals working and enjoying entertainment in Cleveland.

Before joining the program, I would glance at the plethora of Cleveland events happening around the city hoping to, one day, have time to participate. During the program, I didn’t make any excuses or take any chances. When I saw an event that I wanted to attend. I registered and went! After my program ended, I continued to search for ways to connect with young professionals and stay engaged with Cleveland.

My mentor was Jane Haag Bergman. The connection was amazing from the first day we met during mentor/mentee matches. “Ms. Jane,” as I called her, was phenomenal with helping me brainstorm ideas for personal and professional development. She frequently encouraged healthy confidence levels and wouldn’t accept anything less. She’d often call me “Confident-Tyisha-Gal”. If I didn’t get back to her with an exciting new update, I could expect a follow up email soon. I shared a great bond with her. I recall taking a mini-vacation to Atlanta in April 2022. Somehow, Ms. Jane was on my calendar for a meeting. We had our heart-to-heart while discussing professional development. She and I still meet up for cocktails to this day!

The mentorship program helped me shape my goals by giving me guidance and a network of people who love to interact in and around Cleveland. A huge takeaway from the program was to get out and absorb the multifaceted city that surrounds us. Explore its energy while transferring positivity into each experience. Try yoga outside, or perhaps attend a Lunch with Leaders event. You never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn or how much you’ll grow unless you get out there.

For my civic development goals outlined in the program’s details, I helped the organization promote its 22nd Annual Battle of the Bands using media platforms such as Cleveland 19 News and Cleveland Scene Magazine. It was great working with the founder of Music Through the Streets, Donshon Wilson, giving support when needed.

The biggest takeaway was the amount of networking and encouragement that can be accomplished among Cleveland Young Professionals. You really can’t help but absorb all the positive energy that a room full of professionals creates. It’s a feeling of togetherness like no other. There’s warmth, laughter, bright ideas and collaborative efforts. My experience with the mentorship program has prepared me to engage professionally with people from many different walks of life, while cherishing a city that we all love.

About the Author
Tyisha Blade is a Reporter/Producer, at Ideastream Public Media and participated in the Women’s Mentorship Program, Third Cohort.

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