A leadership mentoring program for the garrison’s civilian government employees is beginning open enrollment with plans to expand.
The Fast Horse graduate program is overseen by Justin Mitchell, Deputy Garrison Commander, who has been organizing this program for the past 15 years at various installations.
“Justin really changed my life. I am thankful for him. There was a huge change in my life as a result from this — it even brings tears to my eyes,” said Sheri Lasater, one of the Fast Horse honor graduates. “This program is life-changing for me.”
The mentorship program is open to civilian government employees who work as a level GS9 or higher. The purpose is to identify and develop exceptional employees and future leaders, encourage an adaptive workforce and to institute and promote a culture of coaching and mentoring.
Students who are accepted into the program meet once a month for 90 minutes over the course of 15 months. They are educated on lessons including self-development, self-analysis, financial management and strategic thinking. In addition to classroom courses, there are group activities and hands-on experiences in different projects.
“That’s all it takes is just 90 minutes to invest in yourself. Take a hard look at where you are, where you want to be and if you are investing in yourself,” Mitchell said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
“The mentorship program to me is all about working with others: to figure out a way forward, to complete the mission, to help each other out, to not just be better workers but to be better human beings,” Lasater, a graduate from the third cycle of the Fort Bragg program, said.
“I identified some weaknesses that I did not know I had during this course. I really love the lessons about mind, body and soul.”
Another honor graduate, Victoria Ivory, said the program changed her life professionally and personally.
“My goal was to be better than I was yesterday,” Ivory said. “I had that ‘servant life’ mentality.That’s why nobody knows who I am because I am in my office 24/7 constantly working. … But this gave me the opportunity to get out there and show people who I am, what I can do — versus the busy bee that is constantly taking care of people.”
“I learned to take time out in my personal life and just make time for me.”
As a result of completing the program with honors, Lasater is now taking the program to Womack Army Medical Center where she works as a management analyst.
“She is one of the unique individuals that came from Womack. Her task since graduating the program is to take this entire program and start it as a civilian mentorship program for the 3,000 civilian employees at Womack. She is about to be a leader among leaders — to take the program to the next level with a whole different organization,” Mitchell said.
Lasater made it very clear the type of individuals she will be looking for when evaluating resumes for the Womack mentoring project.
“We are looking for excitement. Those who want to jump in and take the bull by the horns and really move forward. Because it is not about the task, it is about the mission and the people,” she said.
The garrison program currently holds 25 seats for those who qualify. Open enrollment is running through April and applications will be evaluated in May. Applicants must be nominated by their supervisors or Mitchell himself. People can also nominate themselves, with approval of their supervisors.
“This is not just a place you walk into and get a little letter of instruction. This is huge,” Lasater said.
For more information about the program and how to apply, request information from your supervisor.