Mentors at KEF have the privilege of working with one or more students in providing personal and academic guidance. Kaelyn Cincotta, a mentor paired with Pakistani KEF Scholar, Bibi, explains how her role as a mentor allows her to guide Bibi through her studies and give her the confidence to share her story of overcoming gender discrimination in Pakistan.
“Many of us are lucky enough to have been mentored, and in turn have mentored others during our lifetimes. Very few people are successful in any aspect of life without encouragement from those around them. The mentorship program at Kapadia Education Foundation is a wonderful way of forming a unique connection with someone on the other side of the globe, and a special opportunity to exchange cross-cultural ideas and lessons. Becoming a mentor is an excellent form of passing on the moral support that most of us have had the good fortune to receive ourselves.” -Kaelyn
Kaelyn is currently based in New York, working in development at a public radio non-profit, and she was previously involved in an organization that aided in housing refugees in Spain. When Kaelyn worked as an educator, she saw how important a guiding figure in your academic life can be, and this too inspired her to volunteer with KEF. She has spent many years living and working abroad and has traveled extensively, making wonderful, lifelong friends along the way.
KEF is built on the foundation of “paying it forward.” Kaelyn herself had mentors who guided and inspired her, so when the opportunity presented itself, she jumped right in to pass on the mentorship she had received! Since then, Kaelyn & Bibi have built a strong relationship of mutual support through KEF's mentorship program, and despite their distance, Bibi & Kaelyn have exchanged many messages sharing about their lives and cultures.
"The best part of being a mentor is meeting people with whom you probably wouldn't have otherwise gotten to connect and exchange cross-cultural dialogue.” -Kaelyn
Kaelyn is so happy with the fact that she and Bibi can learn from one another, and even more so learn about the different cultures and lives they were born into. Their mentor and mentee relationship creates an opportunity for both academic and emotional support, helping Bibi with her studies and confidence. One day, the pair would like to meet in person and get to know each other without the distance, but for now, at least, they're both so excited to be a part of each others' lives.
Bibi has faced and is still facing many obstacles due to the cultural boundaries in Pakistan. Being stopped from going to school and being told there is no point in pursuing education are just some of the negative comments Bibi and girls like herself receive throughout their studies. With this in mind, it is even more important to have a positive role model like Kaelyn to lean on.