Meet Our Mentees: Cathy Mangan Jackson

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I began my career working in higher education during graduate school at Siena Heights University in Michigan as a hall director for a building of 450 students. It was the biggest learning experience I’ve had to date. I learned that I value being vulnerable and real in a workplace.

After graduating, I found a good fit in the nonprofit sector, working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Michigan. I currently work at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, where I coordinate anywhere from 16,000-20,000 volunteers per year for about 800 environmental projects throughout Marion County.

I love to see the amazing impact we can have at the end of just three hours: hundreds of trees, habitats restored or tons of litter removed from the environment.

My husband Josh and I are expecting our first baby in February and we are 90% excited and 10% terrified of what it means to become parents! We love running or walking together in our free time and can’t wait to try out a running stroller. Josh jokes that he wants our baby to be the youngest ever to finish a marathon.

What brought you to EDGE and why did you choose to become a mentee?

I met someone who worked at EDGE who spoke so highly of the mentoring experience and what it meant to her, that I thought, “This is exactly what I need!” I’ve been spiritually mentored or had great relationships with supervisors, but never a combination of the two. The concept of having a community of women to encourage and grow with professionally and spiritually sounded like exactly what I was missing.

In what ways have your mentor (Julie) and your EDGE group helped you grow personally, professionally or spiritually?

Julie is a fantastic active listener and knows how to offer insight and gently guide our group based on our experiences and where we are. I greatly admire her leadership style and the way she brings her authentic self to the workplace, to her family and faith community, and to us – her mentees.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your mentor so far?

To find out the “why” to my life choices. To understand my personal mission, why I make the decisions I do and how to lean into that to maximize and align my decisions to my “why” statement.

What is one thing you wish you knew when starting out in your career?

That each place or experience is a building block to learn new skills. I always pictured in my mind that I would “arrive” at some point as a full adult with all the answers in my career and life. I’m learning to appreciate the journey and challenge myself to keep learning and adding new experiences to spark more growth.


 

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