EPIP LA’s 2018 Mentorship Program Participants and Reflection on 2017

Now in its fifth year of programming, EPIP LA’s Mentorship Program has continued to connect early to mid-career philanthropic professionals with executives in the field to serve as a mentor and with peers to support them on their journey. This unique program provides a structured cohort opportunity for mentees to work with a seasoned professional to deepen their learning of philanthropy, build efficacy in their current positions and thought-partner in building long-term career plans, which remains in great need within the philanthropic sector. This year’s applications were very competitive, resulting in the selection of the following three cohorts: 

Cohort 1

Rosalyn Escobar, Grants Manager, LA County Arts Commission
John Garcia III, Program Officer, California Community Foundation
Miram Maya, Program Officer, First 5 LA
Roger Perez, Senior Associate, Advisory Services, Nonprofit Finance Fund

Cohort 2

Colette Badmagharian, Executive Assistant, UniHealth Foundation
Dilreet Dhaliwal, Operations Associate, Durfee Foundation
Sarina Raby, Grants Management Associate, Jewish Community Foundation LA
Charlotte Milner-Barry, Associate, Gonring Spahn and Associates

Cohort 3
Rachel Huguet, Program Associate, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Shawn Kravich, Executive Director, Snap Foundation
Jonathan Nomachi, Program Officer, First 5 LA
Nicole Pritchard, ACA Program Associate, The California Endowment

Throughout the calendar year, these participants will continue to meet with their mentor, with their cohort, and participate in professional development activities.

Congratulations to EPIP LA’s 2018 mentorship class!

Reflecting back on the 2017 Mentorship Program…

As each program year begins, another concludes and allows us an opportunity for reflection. What follows are reflections from the 2017 cohort on what the Mentorship Program experience meant to them.

Mentorship is important in the development and progress of any field: it encourages both mentors and mentees to be reflective about their practice, develop self-confidence, and have real conversations about issues and barriers present in an industry. In philanthropy, however, many of the traditional pathways to developing these relationships are absent. People enter the field from a wide variety of education programs, backgrounds, and previous levels of experience, rather than through a dedicated preparation program. Foundations also come in many shapes and sizes, some so small that true mentorship relationships are impossible and others large enough that a junior member of the staff may not have much personal interaction with those in leadership. For these reasons, EPIP LA's Mentorship Program provides an invaluable service to its members.

Now in its fifth year, the EPIP LA Mentorship Program aims to provide participants with the tools needed to seek out and maintain meaningful connections with experienced leaders in the social sector. In order to do so, the program emphasizes both the peer-to-peer relationships participants build with one another, as well as the relationship each participant builds with his or her mentor.

Jaime Kalenik

"I did not know it at the time of applying, but the EPIP mentorship program came at a pivotal point in my career. Having the experience and wisdom of my mentor helped tremendously in making big decisions and the ongoing cohort relationships offered a consistent source of support and encouragement. I feel more engaged and inspired in my work and buoyed to pursue opportunities as they come. This program offers such an invaluable service in a field that can be tricky to navigate, and I am incredibly grateful to EPIP and all involved."

Sean Eilenberg

"The EPIP LA mentorship program has been a vital part of my career development. My mentor offered invaluable feedback and support as I established my career in philanthropy and I am immensely grateful to EPIP for providing this opportunity. EPIP did an excellent job of connecting me with a mentor who exactly matched my future career goals and was able to offer timely advice as I made important decisions regarding my career path. I have learned so much from this relationship and cannot recommend the program enough.

In addition, the encouragement from my fellow mentees has been incredibly important to me. I could always turn to these colleagues and friends to help me through trying circumstances. Their advice and patient understanding has meant a lot and I am glad to continue meeting with them even after the formal end of the program."

Sara Hahn

"I loved participating in this program. My mentor was wonderful - he was a great listener, a sympathetic ear, and an incredibly accomplished professional with important perspectives on the field. I'm so glad that we could connect and that EPIP facilitated this match. The mentee cohort was also fantastic. My fellow mentees are so wise - and fun! I always looked forward to our get-togethers, which were a great chance to debrief and decompress. I'm so glad that we'll be continuing to meet up in the future."

Alexa Margalith

"Participating in the EPIP mentorship program was an incredibly rewarding experience.

Over the course of the program, my mentor and I developed a strong mentor-mentee relationship that we will maintain far after the formal program comes to a close. I am deeply grateful for her support, advice, insight, and wisdom. A HUGE thank you also to EPIP for facilitating such an ideal match.

The mentee cohort component of the program has been equally valuable, if not even more so. I feel so fortunate to have been part of this group of brilliant, driven, and thoughtful individuals. I work in a small family office without any true peers, and so, having the opportunity to connect with my cohort on a regular basis has been especially meaningful to me. I am so glad that we will continue to get together regularly going forward!"

The EPIP LA Mentorship Program has been of immense benefit to this cohort. Each member has gained valuable insight and encouragement not only from mentors but also from each other, resulting in relationships that will endure long after the program has formally ended. Any EPIP LA member who is looking to grow in their career or simply needs some extra support from understanding colleagues should consider joining.


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