Thursday, April 7, 2022

Celebrating our partnership with WILL

April 7, 2022 —
This week, Schwan’s and the University of Minnesota celebrated eight years of partnership in the Women Invested in Leadership and Learning (WILL) program with a mentor appreciation event.

WILL is a partnership between the University of Minnesota, Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation and the Schwan’s Company. Its mission is to empower young women through critical job competencies, customized mentoring and transformational leadership. The program pairs Schwan’s employees with female student-athletes to help support the student’s personal development.

During the event at 3M Arena at Mariucci on the U of MN campus, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Scott Peterson expressed his gratitude and appreciation to all participants in WILL.

“I commend the students for having the foresight to develop themselves and build upon their leadership skills,” he said. “I am also very grateful to our mentors for volunteering their time to help others develop and grow. You as mentors also have considerable demands on your time, and I know that you are all doing this out of an inner calling to support the growth of these student athletes.”

Eighteen Schwan’s employees served as mentors for the 2021-22 school year. They are: Eajin Hwang, Whitney Heber, Lori Dubbeldee, Dee Dee Loberg, Sarah Hendrickson, Karla Munkel, Alissa Schultz, Sara Brohl, Marta Leach, Lisa Haen, Julie Simonson, Patty Alcorn, Abby Collins, Susan Mainquist, Amy Clarke, Sarah Rohne, Sara Rice and Laurie Karst.

This year’s program was especially rewarding for both students and mentors, as it marked the first opportunity to meet face to face since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Returning to campus and engaging in person allowed student athletes and mentors to reconnect on a level missed by all. The conversations and laughter resonated around the arena,” said college relations and development manager Sarah Rohne.

WILL began in 2014 as a partnership between Schwan’s and 25 members of the university’s soccer team. Today more than 240 female student athletes representing all 12 women’s programs are paired with Schwan’s and other community mentors.

According to Sarah, the opportunity to mentor the students is a rewarding opportunity to pass along many of the skills she has learned at Schwan’s. 

“I participate in WILL to support a new generation of talented women leaders and look forward to continued program success ahead,” she said.

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