Woman To Woman Mentoring
To better acquaint our members and the greater community with our grantees, we are highlighting some of the nonprofit organizations that have received WGC grant funds. This quarter, we reached out to Tonya Hatosy-Stier, Executive Director with Women to Women Mentoring.
Please introduce yourself. What is your role at your organization and how long have you been with the organization.
Hello! My name is Tonya Hatosy-Stier, I am the Executive Director, with Woman to Woman Mentoring. I was first introduced to W2WM in 2010, joined the board in 2011, and was hired as staff in July 2013. I am getting ready to celebrate my 8th year!
What is the mission of the organization, and what personally moves you about that mission?
Our mission at Woman to Woman Mentoring, Inc. is to cultivate mentoring relationships that provide women with guidance, support, and community connections.
Our mantra… We are a strong and supportive community of connectors, collaborators, supporters, guiders, uniters, and bridge-builders. We care. We listen. We love. We believe in acceptance and understanding. We are real. We are confidence builders. We are learners. We love the diversity of our community and celebrate both our uniqueness and our differences. We strive to achieve equity, inclusion, and belonging and to use our platform to amplify the voices of others, affirm their value, and spotlight their strengths. We strive to help ALL women thrive.
What personally moves me?
When I was younger, there were people who guided me and helped me make decisions that I was not equipped to make on my own. Mentors have made a difference in my life and I wanted to pay it forward.
What are the most significant challenges that the organization is facing right now? What are the most significant challenges faced by the clients/populations that you serve?
The most significant challenges W2WM is facing right now are 1) continued and predictable funding, and 2) helping mentees realize the ways they can still make progress during this time of uncertainty and waiting.
Our participants are facing the same challenges women everywhere are experiencing: the unknown, finding their way to college and succeeding in college, finding and balancing jobs and careers with kids learning at home, loss of income and stability, isolation, loneliness, and uncertainty about how to move forward in their lives and careers.
What is the nature of the Giving Circle grant that you received for 2020, and what impact will it have on women and their dependents in Frederick?
The 2020 funding was to pay for six mentees who are ALICE (Asset-Limited, Low-Income, Employed) to benefit from the guidance, support, and community connections of participating in our CORE program.
These six mentees include six single moms handling kids, work and/or school, and financial challenges during the pandemic.
Do you have any specific “stories” that you can share with us that illustrate what you are doing in the community?
I would like to share a story of Hope. (names have been changed to protect the mentee's privacy)
Last year, I received a call from Courage, one of the graduated mentees. She said “I know of a young woman who is employed at McDonalds, she is going to school and she is homeless. Maybe you can help her, the way you helped me, by finding her a mentor. I know you don’t provide housing, but maybe you know someone looking for a roommate.” I said, I’d be glad to connect.
18 months prior, Hope, made a courageous decision to leave her home, with no place to go. She was 17 years old at the time. She couch-surfed and lived out of her car. She worked and went to high school. Then covid-19 hit. And the couches become unavailable. Hope has no family support system. In fact, her family works against her desire to break free from the life she was brought up in… a world of abuse, drugs, and homelessness.
We were aware that another one of our graduated mentees, Love, had a small room and a bed available in her house. She made this room available just for a W2WM mentee in need. Within 48 hours of the call, Hope applied and interviewed to be part of our CORE Mentoring program. We matched her with a mentor and we connected her with Love. The very first day Hope moved in sent me a text that read “I can’t believe I have my own room for the first time in my life. The next text was, “I guess I can say I am not homeless anymore…” She needed a mentor and the W2WM community. She’s now working on her plan for college, on her personal budget, and has someone to confide in, to help her grow without the limits placed on her by her family.