Voices    Lifestyle

Finding a new normal: A local non-profit leader adjusts both her work and her life in the COVID-19 era

Be A Mentor's Alex Moor poses with a student | Image provided by Be A Mentor

As our community works to collectively adjust to this new normal, we want to share the perspectives of people in the Charleston community who are working to adapt their lifestyles, family dynamics, business models, workflow, + more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we’re hearing from Alex Moor, the Executive Director of local non-profit, Be a Mentor. Be A Mentor is a school based mentoring program that works with students K-12 in 26 schools across the Lowcountry.

Interested in sharing your own experiences? Find the form to submit at the bottom of this post.

How has your work been affected by coronavirus?
Our mentor/mentee pairs provide close and meaningful relationships for both child and adult. For some students, the friendship they have with their mentor is incredibly supportive and can be the most positive relationship they have with an adult. School closures to prevent spread of COVID-19 put an abrupt end to weekly mentoring visits and it is difficult to know when schools will reopen.
Many of our mentors would like to stay in touch with their mentees during this time of social distancing. The need for support grows during a crisis, it does not diminish. Be A Mentor has now adjusted our programs and launches E-Mentoring for our almost 400 mentor pairs! Mentors and mentees can continue their relationship for the remainder of their time apart by communicating via email using Be A Mentors guidelines. We are excited to launch an additional resource page on our website for mentors to share educational activities online that will support educational growth and personal growth.

 

How has your personal life and/or family been affected by coronavirus?
My fiancé and I were on a family trip to London when the news of the Coronavirus hit. We had planned a stop in Paris at the end of the trip, but cut that short with the closure of the EU. As we were on an early flight home, the U.K. got added to the no travel list. When we landed, we were denied our global entry, and taken through additional screening. We waited in one room with all international travelers to be asked additional questions. After returning home, we decided that a self quarantine was the right thing to do after our travels.

 

What impacts do you think the pandemic will have on your life and/or business as time goes on?
We have already seen some of our traditional funding sources, like grants, shift their priorities to COVID-19 response. We are grateful for our funding partners who are making a difference in the recovery efforts, but also recognize that student’s social and emotional support is a priority during this time. As we adjust our programming to best serve the needs of our families, we hope funders will continue to put education and social and emotional growth as a top priority.

 

What can members of the community do to support Be a Mentor and other organizations like it during this time?
Continue to donate and support your local nonprofit that means to most to you! It is very likely that those groups are losing some of their funding streams- and in order to continue their missions, community support and donations are more important than ever. So if it is children, veterans, animals, or another amazing local cause still out doing good in our community, show them some love!

 

What do you look forward to doing the most once everything goes back to normal?
Seeing my friends and family! The joy that we will get once we can reunite will be something like we have never experienced before!

 

What message do you have for the Charleston community right now?
Don’t stop. Don’t stop working hard, don’t stop your goals, don’t stop believing in our community. We’ve got this. The community in Charleston is too important to let this stop us!

 

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