As an employee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Charlotte Branch), Felicia Kline knows a lot about investing. But she also believes in the power of another type of investing – investing her time and energy into mentoring young people.
Kline has been volunteering through CIS for nearly seven years. She first learned about CIS through her employer (FRB) and the company’s United Way representative. Kline and several other FRB employees served as reading tutors, math tutors, and helped with other volunteer needs such as proctoring on testing days. Kline says she worked closely with the CIS Site Coordinator at Walter G. Byers (WGB) and grew to really appreciate the CIS program and what if offers both students and volunteers.
After volunteering for 3-1/2 years at WGB, Kline learned about CIS’s new “Success Coach” mentoring program. The program provides training for volunteers and a specific curriculum to support volunteers as they mentor individual students. After taking the training, Kline was matched to Shamarya, a 7th grader at McClintock Middle School. She met weekly or bi-weekly with Shamarya over the next two years, reviewing her school work, talking about situations at home or at school, setting goals, and much of the time, just being a good listener.
At the end of Shamarya’s 8th grade year, as she prepared to move on to East Mecklenburg High School, Kline recalls Shamarya asking, “You’re coming with me to East Meck, right?”
Kline says it was more of a statement than a question. “How could I say ‘no’ to that?” laughed Kline. “It’s a little harder to pull high school students from class [than middle school], but we are working it out. I’m glad I can still be there for her, especially during this often difficult transition to high school.”
One thing Kline really loves about volunteering through CIS is the training offered and the support from an on-site coordinator at the school. “The CIS Coordinator’s support and resources are so helpful when you need ideas for your student visits, and just their help to coordinate around the student’s schedule and relative school events,” said Kline.
Kline does not have any children of her own, but in addition to Shamarya, she enjoys mentoring her two nieces and a nephew, another high school student in N.C., a college student in Alabama, and two recent college graduates in Washington State! (Kline lived in Washington prior to moving to Charlotte eight years ago.) Oh yes, she also mentors three younger employees at FRB. Clearly Kline is passionate about mentoring young people, and others in the community have recognized her for her caring and dedicated commitment: in 2019, she was selected as a finalist for the “Mentor of the Year” award by the City of Charlotte Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance.
Thank you, Felicia Kline, for your dedication and support of our next generation!