In November, in honor of Thanksgiving, many people choose to engage in “30 Days of Thankfulness” on social media, posting one thing they are thankful for each day. In the spirit of this activity, I’d like to share a list of 30 reasons I am thankful to work at Silver Lining Mentoring:


  1. Our Amazing Young People – The young people with whom we work are amazing. Their determination and achievements are what drive me to sit down at my desk every day.
  2. Our Dedicated Staff Team – The work of Silver Lining Mentoring is a true team effort. When I need program statistics for a grant proposal, the social workers have my back; when the program team needs a flyer, our communications person is right there to design it.
  3. Our Supportive Mentors – Did you know that only 5% of adults volunteer with a formal mentoring program? SLM mentors are the cream of the crop. Without them, our work won’t be possible.
  4. Our Driven Board of Ambassadors – SLM’s young professionals’ board, our Board of Ambassadors, are great advocates for us in the community.
  5. Our Visionary Board of Directors – SLM’s board members invest so much of themselves in order to move the organization forward and serve more young people. Without this critical group, our work would not be possible!
  6. The “Happy Friday” Email – Each Friday, our External Relations Manager sends out an email with things to make us laugh, things to make us think, and things to do over the weekend. It’s so much fun!
  7. Lots of Lunch Options – Noodles? Sure. Pizza? Yep. Food Trucks? Check. Sandwiches? Of course. Our office has plenty of delicious lunch places within a five minute walk.
  8. We are Youth Driven – Everything we do at SLM is driven by the needs and desires of our young people. We were even named by them!
  9. Warm Fuzzies – Our program team sends emails to introduce a new match or share a particularly powerful reflection from a young person. These “Warm Fuzzy” emails make my day.
  10. That our Grandmas “Like” our Facebook Posts – Two staff members’ grandmothers (mine included, thanks Gramma!) can be counted on to like and share all of SLM’s Facebook Hopefully we can get a similar trend going on our new Instagram profile.
  11. SLM Wish List – Staff members list tangible goods they wish we had, like tickets to events for matches, CVS or Amazon gift cards, or pre-loaded T passes for young people. If you want to help us fill our wish list, you can also look here.
  12. The Office Couch – Sometimes I need a change of scenery to get the creative juices flowing. I unplug my laptop from my desk and sit on the couch in the common space to shake things up.
  13. I’m Surrounded by Fellow Chocolate Lovers – Put out a bag of candy and I guarantee it’ll be gone by the end of the day.
  14. The Camping Trip – Every year, SLM hosts an overnight camping trip on Cape Cod for all mentors and young people. I’m convinced it’s magic. You can read about my first camping trip experience in this previous blog post.
  15. Our Office Space –When I first started at SLM, we rented out three of our offices. We’ve grown so much that we use the whole floor now!
  16. Play Days – The staff gets out of the office to do something fun together, like going bowling, seeing an exhibit at the MFA, or taking a cooking class. It’s a great chance to catch up with everyone on non-work topics.
  17. We’re Learning and Trying New Things – From the creation of Learn & Earn in 2012 to the newly formed Young Adult Services program, SLM is constantly innovating to meet the needs of our young people.
  18. The Props Board – We have a bulletin board where we leave notes of congratulations and thanks for other staff members.
  19. Baked Goods – We have several talented bakers on staff who are generous about sharing their talents with the rest of us. I love the surprise treats they bring us!
  20. Our Organizational Values – SLM’s organizational values are Commitment, Cultural Responsiveness, Innovation, Community, and Gratitude. We do our best to live those values each day, including twice-a-year Value Awards to recognize staff who go above and beyond.
  21. Accidental Twinning – When you spend so much time together, you’re bound to have the occasional matching outfit. Like my most recent one with our Deputy Director, Julie!
  22. Pot Lucks – We have quarterly office pot lucks that always result in a delicious lunch (and plenty of leftovers!).
  23. Power of Two Award – Every year, SLM honors one mentor/mentee match with the Power of Two Award at our Match Gala. It’s my favorite part of the night.
  24. We Have Three Julies on Staff – It can make for a “Who’s on first?” situation at times.
  25. My Lunch Bell – I’m a big fan of lunch. I was affectionately nicknamed the “lunch enforcer” and gifted a silver bell that sits on my desk, just waiting to be rung at noon.
  26. Our New Salesforce Database – In the past year, we’ve invested in a new database that holds all our organizational data. I won’t get too technical, but what used to take hours and several Excel sheets to figure out now takes minutes. LIFE. CHANGING.
  27. Birthday Holidays – We each get a day off for our birthday. It’s a great way to make the day feel extra special.
  28. Trash Teams – Working at a nonprofit means we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves. The office is divided into two teams, and each team is responsible for taking out the trash once a week.
  29. We’re a Dog-Friendly Workplace – I don’t own a dog myself, but it’s fun when our furry friends come to visit!
  30. Our Wonderful Supporters – Individuals, foundations, and corporations like you who invest in SLM are critical. We couldn’t do what we do without you. THANK YOU!