Mentoring Seeds 4 Success on Navigating through Social Media

Contributed by Melanie Mease

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to participate in a discussion on the topic of, “Networking Social Media,” with girls from Seeds 4 Success. As a health educator in my previous job, I used to visit Anne Arundel County public schools, so I jumped at the opportunity to mentor Annapolis High School students once again. Each JLA volunteer researched the pros and cons of different social media networks. I chose to talk about Twitter, while other JLA volunteers chose to discuss Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

After a creative ice breaker of “Would you rather?” I learned a lot more about both the Seeds 4 Success participants, as well as fellow Junior Leaguers. I had a great time learning about a high school junior who, like me, LOVES Twitter. We bonded over how unashamed we are about tweeting our million dollar ideas and our ever-changing emotions daily.

I learned that she aspires to go to Delaware State University, but never knew she could follow her dream school or use hashtags on Twitter to learn more. We also talked about the benefits of making social media accounts private, for the benefit of applying to school and job opportunities.

My biggest accomplishment that afternoon was the promise she made to make her Twitter account private. This way, only the people she allows to follow her can read her tweets.

When each of the Seeds 4 Success girls shared with the group what they had learned from their JLA partner, it was clear how much each of them benefitted from this topic. Most had never heard of LinkedIn—a social media network meant for fostering professional connections—but everyone agreed it would be a good idea to join so they could network with different companies and organizations.

It was a fun and rewarding experience that I owe to Natalie Chamberlain and Melanie Stevens from the JLA Seeds 4 Success committee. It was a combination of their consistent communication, thoughtful planning, and the energy from all the JLA volunteers who came out that day that made this a volunteer session a success!