Spotlights

Professional Spotlight - Mary Beth Weigel

 

Technology consultant and professional career coach Mary Beth Weigel, was drawn to MEP by her passion for helping women learn about their true self. She says, “If you lift up women, you lift up the whole family.” 

Mary Beth first game to MEP in 2014 after moving to Detroit from Chicago and began volunteering as a girls tutor. Mary Beth later became a donor and continued to support MEP programs when her schedule limited her ability to volunteer, but an article about our college and career readiness drew her back to the MEP mission. 

A graduate of University of Notre Dame, Mary Beth is committed to coaching individuals to identify and to pursue roles that match their strengths, skills and passions.   She developed a Career Readiness curriculum based on a Harvard Business Review study indicating that job match is a better predictor of success than relevant education or experience.  

Utilizing her expertise and passion for career development, Mary Beth and colleague Janette Philips piloted the "Emerging Professionals" program this past fall, in which women from our advanced Adult Basic Education program learned more about who they are and where they are going, the key to developing the skills necessary to succeed in the professional world. 

 Many of the students participating in Weigel's program felt honored and special to be given the opportunity to have the experience – one student remarked, “This showed me that I can do anything, like becoming a nurse.  One day, I will give back and be an inspiring woman to someone else."

The one piece of advice that Mary Beth hopes that all the students take away is, “if you find a position in life that matches who you are, you will feel that it is a natural fit, it will be easier and you will excel, and if you haven’t found that yet, it’s okay. Every step you take is taking you to that place, just keep trying.”

Volunteer spotlight - Jane Kersjes

Jane Kersjes, a self-described “golf-nut” and DTE Energy retiree lives life to the fullest – incorporating an abundance of volunteer activities into her busy life. 

This fall she begins her ninth year as a weekly tutor in MEP’s Girls’ after school tutoring program. We are so grateful Jane found her way to our tutoring program in 2009 after she read about MEP volunteer opportunities in DTE Energy’s employee newsletter. DTE is a vital partner in MEP’s mission to empower women & girls through education and we are grateful to have a large group of DTE employees as volunteers.

 Jane’s steadfast commitment to MEP is solidified by her work with her students – “I tutored Marlen from first through fifth grade and watching her advance and succeed hooked me.” Jane now tutors two students each week and is also a key volunteer for MEP’s special events, helping raise funds to sustain our educational mission.

Jane was awarded a 4-year Evans Scholarship to attend MSU and will never forget that gift which continues to motivate her to help at-risk girls succeed. “I was able to attend college for free; I place a very high value on my education and want to give back.”  She continues, “My life has been blessed and I pass on those blessings through volunteer work.” 

In addition to MEP, Jane volunteers with AARP helping low income seniors prepare their tax returns.  At Gleaners, Jane works the gardens and healthy cooking classes and also helps out at Forgotten Harvest.  She is a volunteer coach with the Michigan Women's Golf Association’s Girls Golf Program and is a member of the Red Cross on call response team—just to name a few!  Jane says she likes to be active – so the list of organizations that benefit from her generous giving of time and talent goes on and on!