Special/Signature Issues » Breaking the Chains

16 Under 16 Sponsors and Judges

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Judges Panel

Jennifer Smith-Slabaugh, Ph.D.
Virginia Mentoring Partnership
Jennifer is the Executive Director and President of VMP, a nonprofit that provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs in Virginia. After receiving her Bachelor's degree she taught natural sciences to K-12 youth in Colorado and California wilderness areas for several years before heading back east and pursuing a Ph.D. in Education from VCU. Jennifer has also taught courses at Virginia Commonwealth University and volunteers on numerous boards and advisory committees focusing on youth, the arts, and environment, including such organizations as ART180, James River Outdoor Coalition and the Micah Initiative. She enjoys spending time with her husband Andy and son Quinn playing in the outdoors.

Sarah Cook Martin
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC
Sarah Cook Martin is a senior manager in the assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and is the Treasurer on the Board of Virginia Mentoring Partnership. She is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and a certified public accountant. Sarah was born and raised in Richmond, and enjoys spending time with her husband Will and two daughters Katherine and Sallie, and volunteering with children through Junior Achievement and her church.


Sponsor Profiles

Owens and Minor
One of the great discussion topics centers on the question, “Are leaders made or born?” And while there are many opinions on the subject, most will tell you that the answer is “yes” to the question.

Recent studies indicate that 80% of leadership is learned, that 10% is one's DNA and that the remaining 10% (which outweighs the other 90%) is one's attitude.

At Owens & Minor, we are big believers in mentoring not only our teammates, but the communities we serve. Mentoring, to us, is sharing information, giving people the freedom to express themselves, not being afraid to stick our necks out and emphasizing the fact that the only people that don't make mistakes are the people that don't do anything. We want our people to learn and grow. When one is through learning, they are through. They stop growing and the status quo is a way of life with them.

Great mentors take an active interest in the people they are mentoring. They are there to serve them, to help them achieve their dreams, to gain self-confidence and to reach heights they thought unachievable. Our goal in establishing Owens & Minor University is to make sure that we have the best trained workforce in the industry. Our teammates participate in many leadership classes taught by our staff and outside sources. Our Chairman, CEO and other officers are very involved in teaching classes on leadership with a particular emphasis on ethics. Like a great mentor should be, they draw upon their life experiences to help others succeed. They openly share what they have done right and what they have done wrong.

Mentoring at Owens & Minor is not just a word; it's a way of life. What makes it so effective, however, is our philosophy that when one teaches, two learn.

Virginia Mentoring Partnership
When you were a child or young adult, was there someone in your life—a teacher, neighbor, relative, coach, friend, or boss—who encouraged you, showed you the ropes, and helped you become who you are today? That person was a mentor to you. Virginia Mentoring Partnership (VMP) believes that young people can do great things with the support and guidance of caring adults. VMP envisions a day when every child in our community will have the support of mentors who encourage them to reach their full potential. That is why we exist — to provide technical assistance to mentoring programs and training for volunteer mentors in order to increase the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for Virginia's young people.

VMP is proud to join Style Weekly as they recognize outstanding youth in our community. These kids inspire us with their talent, sense of purpose, and service to others. They help us imagine the world in new and creative ways. They ask us to dream big. As we celebrate their achievements, VMP asks you to dream big — to imagine a Richmond community where all young people receive the support, encouragement, and guidance they need to reach success.

To learn more about how you can start a mentoring program or volunteer as a mentor in a school or community program, contact Virginia Mentoring Partnership at (804) 828-1536 or visit www.vamentoring.org.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers
Every child deserves a chance to learn and grow. Thank you for helping make sure they get that chance.

PricewaterhouseCoopers supports mentoring. In fact, we do it every day -- from mentoring our own people throughout our organization, to mentoring youth in our community through instructing classes with Junior Achievement, volunteering with The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Richmond, and our involvement with Virginia Mentoring Partnership.

At PricewaterhouseCoopers, we believe nurturing bright minds leads to brighter futures. PwC mentors provide a unique point of view, drawing upon their breadth of experiences, and serving as a sounding board for students' concerns as it relates to academics and career goals. By building trusting relationships, sharing knowledge and inspiring others, PwC seeks to encourage young people and help shape future generations of corporate and community leaders.

PricewaterhouseCoopers believes in Richmond's youth. So does Virginia Mentoring Partnership. That is why PwC is proud to support Virginia Mentoring Partnership in their efforts to advance the high-quality mentoring programs in Virginia and train mentors who offer the wisdom, guidance and support that young people need.

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