Minna Madzunkova, first of all, congratulations on your new position as the Executive Director at Mentor Foundation USA!
Could you tell us why you were interested in working with youth and Mentor Foundation USA?
I enjoy helping people, especially the youth. The experiences gathered at an early age affects the rest of our lives. To serve as a positive influence for teens, in addition to my own children, is immensely rewarding. Leading the way in a position of Executive Director with the support of our board is a fulfilling job.
If you had to describe yourself in three words – what would those be?
Consistent, loyal, and supportive.
What would you like to accomplish at Mentor Foundation USA and do you have any specific goals or a vision?
Mentor Foundation USA has such potential for expansion and reach. We have a team of dedicated people involved outside and on the board, the Advisory Board, and additionally the Youth Advisory Committee. There is a strong need for support among the youth, especially since Covid-19, and my long term goal is for Mentor Foundation USA to be able to provide this support, either directly or in collaboration with other organizations and corporate donors. How we best accomplish our goals is yet to be determined, but we have a strong base in the programs previously offered.
Surround yourself with people who support and challenge you, and gently walk away from people who don't.- Minna Madzunkova
We would love to get to know a little bit more – Could you tell us briefly about your background and professional life before Mentor?
My background is in statistics and for the past 15+ years I have worked with a wide range of responsibilities in various positions such as analyst, business consultant, translator, and producer. I have also previously served as a President for a non-profit organization.
Is there any challenge you have overcome in your life and career, including a valuable lesson from that experience that you could share with us?
Life offers challenges continuously and I make sure to learn from them! Surround yourself with people who support and challenge you, and gently walk away from people who don’t.
Have you ever had a mentor or role model that has had a positive impact on your life?Looking back I was blessed with a happy childhood with supportive parents, family, and teachers. So, I had a village full of mentors!
As an adult, is there still someone you turn to for support and mentorship, in your career and also personal life?
I do confide a lot in my husband, but in general, people around me serve as support and guidance. It’s a combination of luck and picking your company wisely, I gather! You can learn from everyone you meet and everyone has a story to tell.
As a final question, if you had to describe what you like most about Mentor Foundation USA in three words – what would those be?
Empowering, genuine and transformative.
Thank you so much, Minna, for sharing your story and letting us know you a bit better. We are grateful to have you at Mentor Foundation USA!