Big Thoughts

Why Mentorship Matters

Mentorship in Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay cybersecurity and technology sector is a high-growth market and one that is building numerous opportunities for our youth as the future generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Recognizing that business growth is directly tied to the success of the communities we serve, A-LIGN announced its three-year, half-million-dollar investment into the Tampa Bay community in 2019 that would directly support Think Big for Kids and other programs offering accessible learning opportunities to propel students’ success.

A Commitment to the Community

I had only joined the marketing team a few months before A-LIGN’s announcement, but I knew as soon as I joined that serving the Tampa Bay community was a passion and commitment from everyone at A-LIGN from the top down. And when Think Big for Kids began generating interest for their mentorship program, my answer was an immediate “yes.” A “yes” to being involved in the community, committing to A-LIGN’s core values and helping to shape the current experiences of our youth who will soon be entering the workforce alongside us.

Having recognized the value of mentorship and the guidance I received while navigating academic and professional opportunities throughout high-school, college and my professional career, I was excited and ready to offer the same support and resources for others.

Why Mentorship Matters

I quickly realized the value of the mentor-mentee relationship and the rewarding experience it offers. It is a reciprocal relationship that allows us to learn from each other while offering encouragement and advice. I can remember how overwhelming and challenging it was to balance existing academic responsibilities while planning for the future and exploring different options, but guiding my mentee through her interests, hobbies, values and skills allows her to explore the different career opportunities and future experiences that would fuel her passion. Being a mentor is not just about offering advice and exploring different career paths but also helping my mentee celebrate accomplishments and wins along the way. We have worked on evaluating strengths and weakness, and in doing so I have been able to strengthen my communication skills, reinforce my existing knowledge while learning new things, and most importantly gain a sense of personal growth and fulfillment knowing that I have been able to build a lasting relationship with my mentee.

When I hear that my A-LIGN colleagues are having the same positive experience with their mentees, it speaks to the Think Big for Kids program and the support, resources and career exploration opportunities it brings to students. It also draws importance on building relationships with community partners to support the program’s mission and goals and working toward cultivating talent in Tampa Bay.

As I continue to mentor my student throughout her high school experience, I have excitement for her future and the impact and opportunities she will gain from the Think Big for Kids Mentors Program.


Allie Spurrier, A-LIGN

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