"Melissa Pepper made a career change two years ago and saw the importance having two people mentor her through the process.
Reflecting on the experience, she wondered if other women would benefit from having someone guide them in their careers.
She discovered the answer was yes.
With the help of others, she founded Lead(h)er, a nonprofit organization that's signature program, Strike a Match, had a goal of matching 100 young women with other female professionals in one year. That was August 2016. A bit more than a year later, they have 122 matches and everyone loves the results.
“It makes you feel needed,” said mentor LuAnn Haydon, who is retired. “In my generation, we did not have mentors. But this is an opportunity to give back.”
“I am absolutely thrilled to have crossed this threshold, especially ahead of our target date,” said Sarah Stevens, executive director. “Through their participation in Strike a Match, these 100 women are now enabled to build networks that are both supportive and empowering. As a result, they are connected with local leaders across professional sectors and corporate affiliations, creating a more vibrant, connected Quad-Cities workforce.”