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Local Mentoring Spotlight: Michelle Kosta

We asked local mentoring advocate Michelle Kosta, Executive Director at Family of Friends, why mentoring was so important to both her nonprofit and to her professional success. The following is her response:

Family of Friends

Why is youth mentoring important? This quote from one of our kids, 11-year-old Yaslene, says it best, “My mentor helps me come out of my cocoon. We balance each other out. We help each other find the meanings of things. Mentors go through things with you and they don’t want you to be alone while you’re going through it.”

For a parent trying hard to make ends meet on a low income, having another caring adult who shows up, asks good questions and sparks joy with their kid, can often be the difference between a kid sitting at home alone and one building confidence on healthy adventures.

Mentoring works. If you’re interested in learning how to mentor a kid in Gresham in our spring 2020 cohort, visit

Michelle’s Own Mentor

My path as an Executive Director in the nonprofit world has been a trial by fire. Debra Dunn, who was introduced to me by a friend, took a special interest in helping me discover my strengths. Her experience and personality were exactly what I needed on my path to becoming an effective leader. Most of our mentoring happens over happy hour, but she has invited me into her world and shown up for me in mine. My advice to everyone, is find yourself a Debra Dunn!

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