Wing kicks off mentorship program

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Pick up a magazine, read about successful leaders, and you will see one commonality among the head of the most effective organizations. Each of these top leaders herald the importance of diversity, inclusion, mentorship and the process of developing successful employees.

Senior Master Sgt. Sarah Brewster, 153rd Airlift Wing human resource advisor, collaborated with three rank-based councils – Company Grade Officers Council, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Council and the Rising 6 Council – to offer a brown bag lunch topic of diversity, inclusion, and mentorship, during the Wyoming Air National Guard’s June regularly scheduled drill.

The presentation started with an icebreaker where members were given a sticky note with a positive or negative instruction and asked to mingle with the other attendees. There were high-fives, positive greetings and negative greetings. The interactive activity provided a controlled environment to experience the feeling of being included or excluded from a group.

“The one thing that really resonated with me while training for this presentation is the philosophy that your vibe attracts your tribe,” said Brewster. “In other words, the attitude and way you treat others will determine with whom you are surrounded.”

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Rodriguez, 153rd Airlift Wing production recruiter, provided some insight on mentoring by explaining how to provide a mentee with lessons learned from your personal and professional experiences. He also advocated being intentional about mentoring by stepping out and offering to help others in areas where you have the most experience.

Master Sgt. Kathryn LaFary, 153rd Airlift Wing aerospace medical technician, provided a look at the link between inclusion and mentoring by providing examples of studies about the psychological health of a person who is included in personal and professional groups compared to individuals who are alienated from a group. LaFary, a psychology doctoral student, stressed the importance of being inclusive and encouraged airmen to seek out mentorship.

Col. Paul Lyman, 153rd Airlift Wing commander, followed up with some examples of how he has mentored airmen over the years and how pleased he was to see them excel as professionals and individuals of integrity.

“I think it is the right time to start a mentorship program,” said Lyman. “In order for us to meet the personal and professional demands of our family, wing, and country, we need to help guide and mentor our members.”

The lunchtime presentation was the kickoff for the Wyoming Air National Guard Mentorship Program. Senior Master Sgt. Sarah Brewster, 1st Lt. Randi Carpenter, and Tech. Sgt. Brandon Rodriguez are seeking positive airmen who aspire to impart their wisdom, influence, and provide direction to other airmen. Brewster is also calling for mentees who are seeking encouragement, direction and empowerment in their quest for professional and personal growth.