Meet a Mentor Monday: Verónica Alvidrez

In today’s “Meet a Mentor Monday” Startland Education’s Verónica Alvidrez explains why mentoring should be considered more than an “extra” or “thing to do if you have time.”

Verónica, who serves as the Director of Youth and Community Programs at Startland, works with her team to create programs for teachers and young people to gain an entrepreneurial mindset and to help them become better problem solvers. Her passion for helping young people develop into the adults they wish to become and supporting women to help them believe they can do anything makes her a natural mentor.

“I challenge you to consider mentoring as an intricate part of your own professional development and as a great return on investment of time when it comes to community development,” Veronica says. “Mentoring is not an extra, is it one of the ways we become stronger and more competitive as a region and at a multigenerational level.”

Originally from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Verónica was raised in Kansas City, Kan., and earned a bachelor of arts degree in Business Administration from UMKC Bloch School. Through her role at Startland, Veronica helps students in Project Lead The Way senior capstone courses develop and frame the problem they want to address in their capstone projects, and advises a similar approach for thinking about careers in STEM:

“Consider where your curiosities, passions and skills fit within STEM where you are passionate about the work, tickled by the challenge ahead of you, and eager to get your hands dirty in the work. The STEM field is broad, explore!”

Her advice for those thinking about mentoring?

“It is all about intentionality and consistency. Sharing a coffee with some of the young people I mentor is always a highlight of my day and time with them also helps me grow and develop. The benefits are reciprocal.”