The success of the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s E-Mentoring program was highlighted in Briefcase through the story of McAfee & Taft shareholder Myrna Latham and Lisa Lawrence, a student in the Outreach program for teen mothers at Emerson Alternative High School in downtown Oklahoma City.
When first contacted about serving as a mentor, Myrna had her doubts as to whether a meaningful connection could be made just through email communications. Lisa, too, had her own doubts. “A lot of the students at Emerson don’t want to open up to other people and some have had bad experiences with attorneys,” said Lisa. “I think most of us thought that this would be just one more adult who would let us down.” At the first meeting where the pair were introduced, though, they “clicked immediately.”
Since then, both Myrna and Lisa have found the experience to be rewarding. For Lisa, she has benefited from her mentor’s constant encouragement, practical advice and consistency and greatly appreciates Myrna’s non-judgmental attitude most of all. For Myrna, her friendship with Lisa has reminded her “what it’s like to be 18 or 19 and how good it feels to have someone cheer you on.” She’s equally amazed at Lisa’s accomplishments and how much she has overcome.
According to the article, “With Myrna’s help and encouragement, Lisa defied the odds and graduated from Emerson in December.” Lisa is currently working full-time and attending vocational school and aspires to become a radiology technician.