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We’re thankful for partners like Accenture, whose employees volunteer to mentor our Climate Careers Leaders in Field Training. Here’s RISE mentor Phillip Wharton’s story:

In October of last year, I got an unexpected text message. It was late on a Friday night and I was tired from a long day at the end of a challenging week, checking my phone as I walked into the house. “Oh no,” I thought, “I hope this isn’t about work.” Instead, my face lit up as I read a thank you note from one of my Rising Sun mentees, who I hadn’t heard from since August when we capped off a 3 month mentoring program with a resume writing workshop. They were writing to let me know they had landed a job with the resume we worked on together.

Back in June, when I had signed up for the RISE mentorship program, I was dealing with a full workload at the office, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Mentoring and coaching has always been important to me, however, and my company had just done a day of service volunteering with Rising Sun that opened my eyes to the good work they were doing in the community of Oakland where I live. When I met my two mentees for the kickoff event, I knew I had made the right decision. I had a fun afternoon away from the office: discussing goals, answering questions, and laughing at each other’s jokes.

One of the highlights of the program was coordinating an office visit for the mentees in July; we hosted a group for an afternoon and gave them some presentations on what it was like working at our company. Of course there were more games and ice breakers, and we finished with more general career advice and real world examples. By the time the program was drawing to a close and we were working on LinkedIn profiles and resumes in August, I could sense the motivation my mentees had to move forward in their careers and the real benefits they were getting out of Rising Sun and the mentorship relationship. We passed the resumes back and forth, making multiple revisions and getting better each time.

So that night in October, as I stood in the doorway with my phone in one hand and my keys in the other, a broad smile washed over my face. I wasn’t thinking about the stress of the day, or the upcoming project deliverables. I had made a tangible difference in a young person’s life, and they had made a difference in mine.

Phillip L. Wharton

Technology Delivery Lead Senior Manager, Accenture

Leader in Field Training Mentor, RISE Mentorship Program, Summer 2019