Each year, the Ole Miss Women’s Council (OMWC) awards deserving freshmen a monetary scholarship to be used throughout their tenure at the University of Mississippi. What makes this program unique for the students selected in the very competitive process is that as soon as they begin their college careers they are surrounded by a cohort of mentors who offer wisdom and guidance for success.
Through this program, students are able to build a network with Ole Miss alumni, attend various learning trips and receive mentorship throughout the program from council members and other professionals. While the scholarship is one of the most attractive aspects of the program, the mentorship component is what produces success for students. OMWC scholar alumna, Emily Monsour, is a perfect example.
Though the scholarship was very helpful during her tenure, the mentorship component made Monsour's collegiate experience unique, so much so that she decided to join the OMWC's annual giving program, the Rose Society. The Rose Society plays a crucial role in the OMWC’s scholarship program because many of the programs the council sponsors are funded by it. All Rose Society proceeds go to various OMWC programs, such as monthly Red Plate Suppers, the August scholar retreat and annual national trips. Few charities give 100% of their donation to the particular cause.
“Since I graduated, I knew I would want to give back to the OMWC as soon as I was able. The mentorships and dinners and retreats all made such a difference to me, and I hope that my contribution will help make that same difference for someone else,” Monsour said.
During her time at Ole Miss, Monsour was awarded the University of Mississippi Foundation scholarship through the Women’s Council. She received a bachelor's degree in accountancy from the University and now lives in Jackson, Mississippi, where she works as a senior assurance associate for HORNE, LLP. Mansour's Ole Miss experience impacted her future in many ways.
As a student, she was very involved in the Associated Student Body as well as the Honors College. She was motivated to succeed because of the support system built around her by the council. All of the women on the council, as well as those serving on the staff, mentored her in some way during her time at Ole Miss. Relationship building is very important and Monsour is still in contact with the OMWC mentor she had in college, Mary Ann Frugé.
“From the very first time I had lunch with Mary Ann, I knew she was something very special. What I didn’t know was how truly invested and dedicated she would be to my success as a student and leader at Ole Miss. We regularly met for coffee, lunch or dinner, but she was available to me at any time for anything. She listened to me and shared such valuable wisdom from her vast array of experiences. To this day, if I have a big decision to make or an accomplishment to celebrate, she and her equally gracious husband are some of the first people I look to share it with,” Monsour said.
As her mentor, Frugé was able to take on a supporting role, because she knew she was fully capable of making excellent choices without her. But what made the relationship so fruitful was the time Frugé put in to encourage and love Mansour as she weighed options.
“My relationship as Emily’s mentor began as most friendships do: by learning about each other, what each of us likes to do, our families … what I consider the superficial information that’s needed just to get to know each other. Within about a year, and after having seen each other numerous times for meals and coffee, we talked about other things, such as changing her major, which was a huge decision, and also her involvement with activities on campus and how they were affecting her. Most of all, I lent a listening ear and treated our conversations as confidential,” said Frugé.
Because of the impact the Women’s Council had on Monsour, her parents, Jeanne and Mitch Monsour, also saw her grow as a young woman in college which motivated them to join the Rose Society as well.The Rose Society gives members the chance to meet highly motivated, appreciative, and deserving individuals who are attending Ole Miss strictly because of the generosity of Ole Miss Women Council philanthropists. Members are involved in shaping students' futures by providing training to develop their leadership skills.
“For four years Emily was surrounded by other scholarship recipients from across Mississippi and the southeastern U.S. that she certainly would not have met under normal circumstances. The OMWC gave Emily something much more valuable than financial support in her four years at Ole Miss and I knew then that someday I would give back to this outstanding organization,” said Jeanne Monsour.
Originally published by HottyToddy.com