Keisha Chandler is New WoMentoring Program Manager

JVS is pleased to announce the hiring of Keisha Chandler as WoMentoring program Manager.

Chandler, who has extensive experience in the fields of mentoring, dispute resolution and mediation, served as program manager for Step Up Women’s Network which seeks to empower teenage girls to reach their educational goals.  She takes over JVS’ innovative WoMentoring program, which has been pairing women at a professional crossroads with established mentors in their fields of interest for the past 15 years.

“Helping people improve and transform their lives is a noble pursuit and I’m really excited to be a part of it,” says Chandler, a native of Inglewood.  “Work is so much more than who we are and how we define ourselves. To be proud of the place where we spend more than half our lives is an opportunity that everybody should be afforded.”

“One challenge will be providing the right context for success,” she adds, “preparing mentors and mentees for the breakdowns and the speed bumps, but also communicating that just because you face those barriers does not mean you failed as a mentor, or a mentee.”

Chandler earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Mills College. Being the first member of her immediate family to attend college taught her the importance of finding guidance from people outside her family.

“That wasn’t a formal mentoring situation, but it definitely served that purpose,” she says. “I was always a kid who pushed myself to unlock my own potential and that naturally put me in the position of seeking other people’s advice and direction.”

Chandler spent five years with Peace Talks Mediation Services of Playa del Rey, the last two and a half as Director of Operations. She returned to school in 2008, earning a Master of Public Health from USC in 2010. At USC, Chandler studied under another mentor figure, Dr. Tess Cruz of the Institute of Preventative Research. While in school, Chandler produced a brochure on post traumatic stress disorder among female military veterans.

In 2010, she became the program manager for Step Up Women’s Network of Los Angeles, a nonprofit which seeks to ignite girls and women to fulfill their educational and career potentials. Chandler was in charge of Step Up’s after school and Saturday mentorship program, supervising a staff of 12 and 120 volunteers and helping to secure 25 paid summer internships.

“It’s all about shoring up confidence,” she says. “You don’t have to swim alone. There’s a lifeguard here if you get into trouble.”