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Disney Empowers Girls for the Workforce of their Dreams

Krystal Rhaburn

by , Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

“She’s truly my new best friend and third parent,” said Girls Inc. member April about her Disneyland Resort mentor. “We clicked so easily that even though this program was temporary, she will surely be my mentor for life.”

As part of the Workforce Wednesday series, we are featuring the cast members and organizations behind the Disneyland Resort community workforce development initiative, a program created to address a pressing need for mentorship and career skills development among Anaheim students and residents.

This summer, members of Girls Inc. of Orange County committed to a mentorship program with Disneyland Resort leaders from various work areas. Girls Inc., an organization serving girls from kindergarten to 18 years old, aims to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Over the course of their mentorship program, the five participants participated in informational interviews, shadowing, networking, tours and a final presentation to the group that captured all of their learnings and takeaways for the future.

Their five cast member mentors guided them through these immersive activities, investing in their personal and professional growth along the way. We caught up with two of the mentorship pairings to learn about their experiences.

April & Theresa

Theresa Anderson stands along side her Girls Inc. mentee, April
Girls Inc. member April and Theresa Anderson, Disneyland Resort Food & Beverage Operations manager

How would you describe your experience in one word?

Theresa: Fantastic.
April: Thrilling.

How would you describe your relationship with your mentor/mentee?

Theresa: It’s just been delightful. We bonded immediately over things like our love for Disney and family.
April: She’s truly my new best friend and third parent. We clicked so easily that even though this program was temporary, she will surely be my mentor for life now.

What is one thing you have taught your mentee?

Theresa: I’ve taught April that there are no limits. That although the world is naturally going to impose limits on her, she should not impose any limits on herself, get bogged down by red tape that is seemingly in her way and lose sight of her biggest desires.

What is one thing your mentor has taught you?

April: To go for everything that I want to go for in life. To stick to my dreams and not let anything stop me from listening to my heart.

Karen & Catherine

Catherine McCoy with her mentee, Karen
Girls Inc. member Karen and Catherine McCoy, Disneyland Resort Industrial Engineering senior manager

How would you describe your experience in one word?

Catherine: Empowering.
Karen: Eventful.

How would you describe your relationship with your mentor/mentee?

Catherine: We were able to connect well because she is looking to become a mechanical engineer and I am currently an industrial and systems engineer. It’s been great to see her grow so much in her confidence and knowledge during this program.
Karen: It’s a very long-lasting [relationship]. We had a spark that made it easy to connect, bonding over our passion for women’s rights to take up space in a field that is mainly full of men.

In your opinion, what is one of the best habits of a great mentor?

Catherine: Transparency. It’s so important to create an honest relationship and have in-depth, meaningful conversations that really make an impact.

In your opinion, what is one of the best qualities of a great mentee?

Karen: Being open-minded and ready to jump on new opportunities.

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