This month, Running Start hosted its first ever mentor dinner as part of its Off the Record program series. This event brought together twenty young women and seven inspiring mentors for an evening of dinner and networking at the home of the Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States, Nathalie Cely Suárez. Hosted by the Chief of Protocol for the State Department, Capricia Marshall, the night featured Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady; Cindy Moelis, Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships; Farah Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the State Department; Sarah Morgenthau, Director of Peace Corps Response at the Peace Corps; and Sarah Hurwitz, Senior Presidential Speechwriter.
Off the Record was developed in the hopes of connecting mentors with young women who aspire to be the next generation of leaders. The program’s premier dinner was a complete success, as it enabled all who attended to ask questions and learn more about what goes into achieving your goals and becoming a better leader. The highlight of the evening came when all of the mentors took a few moments to speak about their personal journeys and give their best insight and advice to the young women present. From Farah Pandith’s words on the power of public service to Sarah Hurwitz’s advice to be a little bit arrogant, the diverse group of women left an impression on each mentee that left them feeling inspired and ready to take on a variety of challenges.
The premier Off the Record mentor dinner was a truly unique experience. The opportunity to spend time with successful women working in politics and public service was inspirational. Without a doubt, the event left an indelible mark on all of its attendants.