Cecilia, could you please tell us a little bit about your background?
I have spent most of my career in as a branding and management consultant. However, after 15 years in a highly commercial environment I truly felt an urge to spend my time on something more meaningful. I was interested in combining my knowledge around digital transformation, branding and leadership with the energy that youth gives and I truly believe in preventive work so when I saw the job as a Secretary General at Mentor International I felt that it was the perfect match.
What inspired you to take on the role as Secretary General at Mentor International and Mentor Sweden?
My own family consisting of my husband and rather young children (4 and 6) has been a family mentor to a family fromKazakhstan for several years and I could see first-hand what a difference mentorship can make. Both for the mentees and the mentors.
Describe the first couple of months as Secretary General at Mentor International and Mentor Sweden.
Very intense, engaging, fun, and quite challenging. A fantastic combination! I have the best of colleagues and despite the challenges, due to the pandemic, I feel that we manage to make a difference for youth across the world every day.
I truly believe in the power of prevention and youth empowerment. By providing role models, knowledge, and inspiration to young people I believe we help them discover their path towards a healthy and prosperous future.Cecilia Bernard
What makes Mentor’s mission meaningful to you?
I truly believe in the power of prevention and youth empowerment. By providing role models, knowledge, and inspiration to young people I believe we help them discover their path towards a healthy and prosperous future.
What is happening at Mentor right now that you are most excited about?
That would be the whole explorative phase that we are in. Specifically, all the untapped potential with the digital acceleration in all societies. From scaling our work to assessing all data now made available to further program development.
What do you wish other people knew about Mentor?
I wish more people could take part of the amazing stories I get to hear on a weekly basis on how good role models, attention and common sense can make a huge difference in a young person’s life.
Why is the work of Mentor important for the community and our youth?
Youth are the most important building block of our society, the entire future of tomorrow. Mentorship as a method is one of the most effective ways to support youth through adolescence and empower them to make healthy decisions. Mentoring relationships can shift our culture to be more inclusive and be the force of change in regards to structural racism, everyday challenges, or pandemic effects
Youth are the most important building block of our society, the entire future of tomorrow. Mentorship as a method is one of the most effective ways to support youth through adolescence and empower them to make healthy decisions.Cecilia Bernard
What do you want to accomplish as Secretary General at Mentor International?
I want to make Mentor more well-known and through digitalization and new partner companies, I want to be able to support more youths.
What are you most looking forward to in the near future related to Mentor’s work internationally?
I am truly looking forward the post-vaccine world and we can start to socialize, travel, and go to work and school again. At Mentor we thrive from the energy of youth and as we have not been able to physically visit the schools which have been quite challenging.
As you look ahead to the next several years, what do you envision for Mentor internationally?
That would have to be to align in our mutual challenges and create joint multiple effects from working together. Together within the Mentor Family and our national entities, together with more partnering companies, organizations, and schools – and together with more youth and people to create a powershift for the future.
When you’re not working on behalf of Mentor, where can we find you? What are your hobbies?
I love to cook, work out (yoga, running, cross-fit), and of course to hang out with friends and family. In a normal world, we love to visit new places as travel together.
Tell us about a Mentor you’ve had and how Mentoring impacted your life.
I’ve had several different mentors in different phases of life. My grandmother when I was a child, a gymnastics coach when I was a teenager and a female manager who later became my friend when I was an adult. I truly think role models are extremely important for personal development.
Finally, what is your favorite inspirational quote?
The other day I tried to explain this one to my son who is 6 years old. I had to google the exact quotation. I still think it’s very true “Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.”