[box]Designers recognize potential the second they enter a new space. With confidence they understand exactly what they can make a room…become. “What do you see that I can be?” is what a spiritless space will ask. “What am I missing that will make me be complete?” is the question it begs us to answer. I’ve come to understand the many similarities between a designer and a mentor, and today’s guest writer KNOWS those similarities inside and out. We are very pleased to introduce Jen Duchane who graciously wrote this piece about mentoring in the design world.

Jen Duchene focuses on her book, Le Chic Cocoon: 7 steps to Creating Your Selfish Space, which encourages women to create spaces that truly allow them to BE THEMSELVES. It’s a fascinating study in how designing the right space can help you grow into the person you are meant to be. As if that’s not enough, Jen offers coaching programs for polite women to find their seat of power.

Designers like Jen are the allies we need for Designing the Next Generation, Over My Shoulder Foundation’s national conversation about mentoring in the design world.

-Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director [/box]

 

On Why I Wrote Le Chic Cocoon, the Book about Creating Space that Mirrors YOU

Why did I write Le Chic Cocoon? What tall tale spun, enchanted me enough to break a spell of years? I think I was born a dreamer and a scribe. A biddable child, wanting to please and to be enthralled.

It’s an odd coupling to be both a leader and easily led. Down the garden path. Wanting only to go merrily on my way. Designing in mud, sticks and paint. In my teens I devoured every book I could lay my hands on, lost in a dream world. Drawing floor plans and moving furniture.

At twelve I was reading adult books. Dipping into the world of pen and page. I soon discovered Virginia Woolf, and hung onto the grace and grief within her prose. I had no sacred space of my own, no secret castle I could conquer. Years later when the life I lived crumbled, I discovered a secret covered in bramble. Joy and the ability to cherish my own dreams, to open my heart to me.  The stranger, my hero who had lived invisible within.

I had woven a wall of fear, scared to trust even myself. Virginia was right, walls are necessary to flourish within. We need a sacred retreat of our own to cherish our inner wildness. To surrender to our desires. Of course being in the decorating business I knew that not just any room would do. It needs to express its owner. To be both talisman and essence. That very secret walled retreat needed to be a jewel box and barred against the well meaning. A caterpillar may crawl in, gasping for a martini, and a butterfly would emerge, life and the room deliciously evolved.

On How I Started Mentoring

My membership in mentorship began before I knew what a mentor was or why I would need one. I found guidance between the sheets of book, in the comfort of paper and ink, in plans and budding rooms. My parents opened up my imagination to worlds beyond what I could see. School, life and my beautiful child. Travel, conversation and a curiosity.

How I Find My Mentors

When I decided to change the way I did business, I found a mentor. As I grow, there they appear. A shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold, an ear to listen in. Precious both in their belief in me, and the confidence that comes from having unconditional support. Having someone who has traveled my path. Not too far up ahead on the road. Someone who can coax me forward when I start stumbling. Those days when I feel helpless and hopeless and wonder what the point is. When I want to hide under the bedclothes.  Too scared to try something new. The negative tailspin that crumples the butterfly wings, because someone told me I sucked.

About the Polite Woman and How I Mentor HER

I started Le Chic Living andThe Polite Woman’s Power Rules because I realized that the women I guide need boundaries. They want to ask for what they want, in a way that keeps them safe, free to express their own voice.. To be able to say no without being a bitch or feeling guilty or mad or sad. To create a life of elegant passion, so that these women can feel safe, accepted, loved, and deeply content. Having a room that feels right and cherished is a powerful tool. I mentor women and girls who need a little guidance in the creative fields or to find their seat of power.

We all have our myths and our mentors. I prefer to choose mine with deliberation. Some have been long term and some fleeting. Building my life and my own Le Chic Cocoon means starting from scratch. Even if I am going to use some or all of what I already have, I still need that talisman to create the essence in the room. The raison d’etre that spills out beyond the walls. Bringing in the light and the view. Using every piece of real estate with intention. Every surface designed to please and reflect me.

I know that creating a space without, to reflect  and support what I hold dear within, is the most rewarding boundaries I will ever build. Every step to the door of my lair, every yes, and each helping hand is all part of the grand design of life.

Joie de Vivre,
Jen Duchene

jenduchene.com

[box]If you like Over My Shoulder Foundation, please SHARE your mentoring stories, consider donating to our non-profit and don’t forget to follow Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook too.[/box]

 

 

over-shoulder

A good mentor is an invaluable resource.

 

In an effort to break down the barriers that separate generations of people and cultures and raise the awareness of the impact of mentoring, the Over My Shoulder Foundation was born. The organization was founded by Grammy Award winner Patti Austin and songwriter Dawn Carroll, after the two had built a successful mentor-mentee relationship. Patti mentored Dawn early in her music career, and Dawn now mentors Patti as she aspires to become an interior designer.

The two women understand the power of mentorship and the positive effects that it can have on the lives of others. Dawn Carroll, Charlie Farren, Brynn Arens, and Barry Orms wrote the song “Over My Shoulder,” which was performed by Patti Austin and her mentee, Lianna Gutierrez. The song helped to inspire the organization, which was launched to cultivate “mentorology,” the art of mentoring, through entertainment-driven products and events.

The Over My Shoulder Foundation aims to achieve the following:

  • Contribute to mentoring programs such as self-empowerment programs for girls and after school programs for at-risk youths that are currently underfunded due to the government’s cost-cuts in 2009.
  • Develop educational “mentorology” programming to be used in corporations and universities.
  • Establish a “mentorology” speaker series, which will feature mentoring stories and the positive life changes that came from it.
  • Create a documentary about the power of mentoring to distribute along with other mentoring efforts.
  • Design a website to function as a “mentoring umbrella” with up-to-date mentoring resources.

To learn more about our organization and ways that you can make a difference, please contact us today!

Image Source: overmyshoulderfoundation.org

[box]Today’s mentoring story is brought to you by Madge Woods, the board president for the Action Committee for Women in Prison. That committee advocates for the humane and compassionate treatment of all incarcerated women, collaborates with other organizations dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system, works for the release of individual women prisoners who pose no danger to society, informs and educates the public and promotes a shift of focus from punishment to rehabilitation and restorative justice. We KNOW that mentoring after prison transforms lives, as demonstrated by the mentoring story of Attorney Rick Dyer.

Through this mentoring story, Madge has proven that a thoughtful, caring mentor WILL improve the lives of others AND reduce recidivism, which is a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior. Mentoring after prison isn’t something that we normally think about, but give it a thought today!

-Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director[/box]

 

I met her on parole, and now she’s AMAZING.

Keisha is my mentee, technically really not anymore as she finished parole April 29, 2011, 5 years from almost the day I met her.

 Meeting My Mentee

Keisha has become so much more than what she was the day I met her. She had trouble making choices about everything (no choices in prison). She was more like the teenager she was when imprisoned at age 15 1/2 than the 32 year old woman standing in front of me.

Having been one of the first juveniles tried as an adult in California she was sentenced to life plus 9. I never did understand this sentencing. When I first met Keisha, after she was out a month, we went to lunch with a program that we both signed up for, Volunteers in Parole (which is now de-funded). She was nervous and didn’t know how this would all work. But by the end of the lunch we were matched and the bond started.

 Starting the Mentoring Process

For 5 years we hung out. We went to museums, plays, shopping, lunches, dinners. Mostly we spent time just talking, in person and on the phone. We are very different. Our lives couldn’t have been farther from each other but somehow we waded through. I talked and asked questions and sometimes she answered me and sometimes she had no trust that she could tell me what she needed to say. But with time and work and energy we started to be friends rather than mentor/mentee. I guess this is proof of the Mentorology cycle at work!

She’s Starting to Transform…

Keisha’s life after prison started back where SHE started. Living with her disabled Mom immediately put Keisha back in the position of daughter, only now she was taking care of her mother. We talked about her roles in life, her roles in her family and her dreams for her future, which needed a job to get going.

Keisha got a job right away and it took a while to find the right fit. A few jobs later she settled in and at the same time started thinking about helping those lifers still in prison and those outside. She joined groups and started speaking out on her story. She spoke on stage and with friends and among total strangers. She started to become the adult she searched for.

After mastering driving and cooking and making a place for herself within her Mom’s home, Keisha flourished. She dreamed of the day she was off parole so she could move to her own place and start the life she so deserved and worked so hard to attain. Now, 5 years later, she is reaching all her goals. If she had buried a list when going to prison, I think she would feel she is moving farther away from that 15 year old and more to who she believes she can be and checking off items on that list.

Continuing the Transformation

From that first day, I cared about Keisha. I tried to introduce concepts that she had never learned or seen in her family-saving, checking accounts, credit cards, and insurance. She thrived and started saving for emergencies and for her future. Did she always make the best choices? No, but she made choices and accepted consequences and grew from each encounter.

She  had her tattoos removed from Homeboys and became active in prison reform. She started talking and couldn’t stop. She turned her life around. She took advantage of every possible program in prison, she graduated high school, she represented the women in prison less educated than she and helped with rules, regulations and programs in prison. She even went to Toastmasters and became a great speaker. We worked on some language and pronunciation and she continued to write and publish and perform. She became a tax payer, she now can vote and most importantly she broke the family cycle that had led her to crime to begin with.

I have full faith Keisha will never offend again and will not ever put herself in a position where her character could be questioned. Keisha is a success at solving problems and resolving issues. I can honestly say I have learned more from Keisha than she could have possibly learned from me. She became part of my family. She shared my joys and struggles. I have a lifelong friend that I love like my own family. I am so proud of Keisha and I just wanted the world to know it.

A Life Completely Transformed through Mentorology

It is now over 7 years since Keisha was released. She has her own place and is moving soon to be with her Mom in their own place. She has a wonderful job with a big global shipping company and has passed all their requirements with a 100% accuracy. She is going from a temporary employee to full-time and is respected by all her co-workers. She has continued to speak out and help teens and pre-gang groups to see if her lessons can be shared and prevent violence among youth in trouble. Keisha also is in a wonderful relationship with someone who respects her and is a good partner. But most important Keisha introduced me to her life, her friends and I am now involved with the Action Committee for Women in Prison as their board president. Also, when another of her friend got released Keisha encouraged her friend to select me as her mentor. That relationship also has been very successful as well for over 6 years. I love my friendships with these two women and am so proud of them. I truly feel they are my sisters and we share so many great conversations and adventures.

Mentoring works. I live it and breathe it everyday. It has totally changed me and showed me how young, bright women can get caught up in making bad choices but with friendship, time and energy can change and become a remarkable citizen of this country.

 

[box]If you like Over My Shoulder Foundation, please SHARE your mentoring stories, consider donating to our non-profit and don’t forget to follow Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook too.[/box]

OMSF Media Brief

Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF) is a non-profit organization founded by Patti Austin and Dawn Carroll to promote mentoring and Mentorology through music and design. Over My Shoulder Foundation hails Mentorology, the art and science of mentoring, as the number-one priority as they move forward producing live events which bring together industry leaders in order to pay tribute to great mentors and put the spotlight on the importance of mentoring.

Think of “Mentoring”, “Music” and “Design” together. Now envision Over My Shoulder Foundation uniting those worlds with the  guidance of the non-profi t’s two award-winning co-founders.

Continue Reading…

Design for Mentorology

The Similarities Between a Designer and a Mentor As designers we recognize potential the second we enter a new space. With confidence we understand exactly what we can make a room…become. “What do you see that I can be?” is what a spiritless space will ask us. “What am I missing that will make me be complete?” is the question it begs us to answer. I’ve come to understand the many similarities between a designer and a mentor.

[button link=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/overmyshoulderfoundation/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/13235521/OMSF-ad-Des-NXT-Generation.pdf” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Read or Save as PDF[/button]

 

As Posted on December 10, 2012 on design-bloggers-conference

Grammy winner Patti Austin crosses all musical genres, has made 17 solo albums, and has performed her award-nominated hit songs on the GRAMMYS® and the Oscars. As a performer, songwriter and vocalist she has had a star-studded career that began at the age of four, making her one of the most beloved artists the world over and a mainstay on the Billboard Jazz Albums charts. Patti’s extraordinary career continues to cross over boundaries and reach new heights.

Patti has had a life-long interest in design. Patti Austin is currently being mentored by Boston’s prestigious design community as she realizes one of her dreams of becoming an interior designer. Patti attributes much of her musical success to her mentors, most notably the close guidance of her godparents Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington.

Because of how important mentoring has been to Patti throughout her life, she co-founded the Over My Shoulder Foundation.

The Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF) is a non-profit organization founded by Patti Austin and Dawn Carroll to promote mentoring and Mentorology through music and design. The Over My Shoulder Foundation hails Mentorology, the art and science of mentoring, as the number-one priority as they move forward producing live events which bring together industry leaders in order to pay tribute to great mentors and put the spotlight on the importance of mentoring.

Think of “Mentoring”, “Music” and “Design” together. Now envision the Over My Shoulder Foundation uniting those worlds with the guidance of the non-profit’s two award-winning co-founders.

Dawn Carroll has dedicated a large part of the past 4 years to starting the Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF) and promoting the idea of Mentorology – the art and science of mentoring. In fact, her passion for Designing the Next Generation has driven Dawn to draw on all her resources to create the dynamic media-driven non-profit organization that exists to further the concept and application of mentoring.

Dawn has carved out OMSF’s niche in the mentoring world while managing an award worthy design career at CUMAR Marble & Granite, which is currently in its 8th generation of leadership in stone sourcing and fabrication in Everett, MA. Dawn writes, “What do you see that I can be” when considering the similarities of an empty room and an individual who needs a mentor in her article about “Designing the Next Generation”.

OMSF accomplishments keep Mentorology, the art and science of mentoring, as the number-one priority. As OMSF grows as a non-profit organization they will keep producing live events which bring together industry leaders in order to pay tribute to great mentors and put the spotlight on the importance of mentoring.

OMSF partnered with CUMAR Marble & Granite to create and inspire The Boston Globe’s Design New England Magazine MIDDIE (Mentors in Design) awards. The MIDDIES salute design professionals in interior design, architecture, building, landscape design, and related fields, who share their time, expertise, and wisdom with the next generation.

OMSF launched the inaugural “Designing the Next Generation” event in 2012 with Cumar Marble & Granite to expand the mentoring conversation nationally. It was an Inspirational Evening of Mentoring Story and Songs at the Liberty Hotel in Boston featuring speakers Stephen Powell (Executive Director, Mentoring USA), Ted Fujimoto (Founder, The Right to Succeed Foundation) and keynote speaker Attorney Richard Dyer who was introduced by Attorney Gary Greenberg of Greenberg Truarig.

Rick Dyer presented former Presidential Candidate, Governor Michael Dukakis, with a stunning award designed by Cumar Inc. thanking him for the mentoring that allowed him to turn his life around. The audience was graced with beautiful musical performances by Patti Austin, Charlie Farren, Robin Lane, Hal Lebeaux and Julie Silver.

OMSF partnered with well-known brands like the prestigious Poggenpohl kitchen design studios and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Furniture showrooms. The events are just a hint of what is to come nationally as individuals from the worlds of mentoring, music and design are gathering to recognize the importance of Mentorology and help OMSF spread the concept for future generations.

The premier of the Over My Shoulder song with Lianna Gutierrez took place at the 2009 PowerGirls Global Summit with Dr. Johnetta B. Cole’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute. The song is based on Dawn’s belief in hope, courage and transformation. It was written by Dawn Carroll, Charlie Farren, Brynn Arens and Barry Orms.

For more information about the Over My Shoulder Foundation, visit overmyshoulderfoundation.org or contact Dawn Carroll, Co-Founder and Executive Director, by calling (617) 510-2620 or emailing carrollco2@comcast.net.

 

 

[box] A few words from Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director [/box]

 

 

Exciting news is underfoot. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has adopted Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF) as its charitable partner in March!

To top it off, both myself and Grammy award winning singing legend Patti Austin (co-founders of OMSF) are being recognized this year for our service in the design community at the New England ASID 2013 Excellence in Design Award gala at the end of March.

 

ASID New England President Mary Beth Haggerty says, “I know they have poured their heart and soul into mentoring”. That couldn’t be more true. As some of you may know, Over My Shoulder Foundation is my passion project, a side job that I do because sharing and spreading Mentorology (the art and science of mentoring) is the most important thing I can think of doing with my free time. That being said, doing basically 2 full-time jobs is exhausting!

 

For my “real job” I am a stone designer at Cumar Marble & Granite. Our company is currently in its 8th generation of leadership in stone sourcing and fabrication in Everett, MA. Without mentoring and apprenticeships, the work that we do would not be possible. It is because of both my jobs, Cumar and OMSF, that I am so VERY excited to announce that both I and Patti Austin are being recognized this year for our service in the design community at the New England ASID 2013 Excellence in Design Award ceremonies.

Here’s Patti and I at Cumar, being mentored!

We are being recognized for bringing mentoring to the forefront of thought in the New England design industry. How have we done it? Well, miracles and a LOT of hard work. We’ve launched major events like Designing the Next Generation, an inspirational evening of mentoring story and songs, and the MIDDIES which are the New England award ceremonies designed to recognize design professionals who share their time, expertise, and wisdom with upcoming generations of designers.

 

With this ASID recognition for the community service we’ve done through OMSF, I am further energized to guide my OMSF Co-Founder Patti Austin (a Grammy Award-winning singing legend and Design Mentee) in the beginnings of her blossoming career as an interior designer.

 

Mentoring, Music and Design are coming together – more and more each day!

 

Please root for Patti, Cumar, Over My Shoulder and I as we continue unraveling the dream we have of spreading our passion for Mentorology through Over My Shoulder Foundation!

 

-Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director

 

[box type=”shadow”] Have you been mentored to such success that you won an award? Please comment or write to us and share your mentoring stories with Over My Shoulder Foundation so we can keep inspiring others to focus on Mentorology – the art and science of mentoring. Don’t forget to find Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook too![/box]