Thank Your Mentor Spotlight: Rich Fitzgerald

Someone who has been a mentor to me...

I have been fortunate in my life to have many mentors, who each played different roles in my life and have helped me at different times. Of all of those people, it is probably my parents and grandparents who have most influenced my life.

These people have had such a big impact on my life because...

My entire family, including my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, taught me the value of hard work. To them, it never mattered what type of job we were doing, provided that we did it to the best of our ability and made a real effort to become successful at it. They also set an example for me of taking pride in the job that they were doing. Those are lessons that I carry with me today and I hope that in this public position that my work ethic is visible and valued.

Why is mentoring important for everyone?

At every stage in my life, in every place I was at, I would look to people who were examples in that realm – whether school, sports, parenting, community activities, business or government. I would always look to people including teachers, coaches and bosses who were examples of success from whom I would try to learn.

We all have an opportunity to learn from others provided that we’re open to that education. Our mentors can see skills and abilities in us that we may not be able to see ourselves, and they can also help us develop those talents. With support and encouragement, we often learn to have a bigger belief in ourselves as well.

A message for my mentors...

Thank you to everyone in my life who has supported me, encouraged me, taught me important life lessons and made time for me. Your recognition of my skills and encouragement of my interests has helped make me the person that I am today.

As community leaders and as servant leaders, we are heartbroken by the recent tragedies and know that a genuine and ongoing commitment to real change is necessary to confront and combat racism.  We stand in solidarity with our peers, our neighbors, our colleagues and our friends with an even stronger resolve to be present, to listen, to learn and to act.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned in our 25 years of serving the community, it’s this: 

We are stronger together

We are committed to actively fighting racism and to using our voices for better.  We will continue to bring strength and hope; to foster meaningful conversations around change; to deliver services that are inclusive and will support all.  We encourage you to join us and find ways to improve race relations in our community and beyond.  Let’s all work toward better – better connection, better allyship, better love for one another.  Let’s work together to make this world a better place for our kids.  Now is the time and they’re depending on us.