Eastern Bank's Laura Kurzrok reflects on importance of mentoring

Throughout National Mentoring Month, we will be highlighting different perspectives on The Mentor Effect from community leaders across Massachusetts. Today's perspective comes from Laura Kurzrok of Eastern Bank. Laura is the executive director of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, which she joined in 2001. Tasked with overseeing donations, her position has allowed her to combine her business skills and experience with her passion for giving back to the community.

Kurzrok, Laura - 2007 - cleanWhy is mentoring important?
The sad truth is that not all children have equal support systems. They do however, have the same privilege to obtain a college degree, to have a future beyond poverty, and to reach for the stars. Without proper support, reaching these goals can be difficult. I am committed to mentoring young people to provide them with much of the same support, structure, and guidance that I was able to provide for my children. I am particularly committed to assisting teens through the college application process. We often forget that asking teens from any background about their plans for college is similar to asking a lay person to comment on medical care. We might have some anecdotal information, but we certainly have no expertise. Sometimes a young person just needs to hear that someone believes in them. So that is why I am committed to mentoring, to help level the playing field.

Who are some of your mentors?
I am not sure I can name a specific mentor who has guided me, but rather a series of trusted support systems. Of course my parents were strong mentors. They supported my education and made sure I prepared myself for a future. They were also instrumental in teaching me about giving back and being responsible to my community. I had wonderful professors in college who instilled a love of learning and who taught me to look at life with a critical eye and to believe that I had unlimited potential. Finally, I have had the good fortune to work for an organization that understands that for-profit businesses and non-profit businesses are not unrelated but rather doing good can often be good for business.

To learn how you or your business can get involved, visit www.massmentors.org