CPE Mentor Spotlight with Kevin Nmah

Kevin is an entrepreneur and founder of a lifestyle clothing brand called Meet The Curator. He has a mission of supplying the DC Area and beyond with positive messaging on how people can Curate Their Own Life. He is from Arlington, Virginia, and really believes in the power of community. Giving back and being in the middle of action and change is something that he took away from his previous profession as a financial analyst in the shipping industry. Learn more about CPE mentor, Kevin, below.

Why did you become a mentor?

The objective I had when I chose to become a mentor was simply to be involved in a young adult’s maturation. I have coached basketball in my local community for 10+ years. I was looking specifically to be involved in a young black man’s life outside of the sports realm. I felt that representation of DIFFERENT versions of black men would translate into a different mindset for young men. I know what it was like growing up without an immediate role model and I wanted to be the change or person I wish I had consistently in my life.

How long have you been mentoring with CPE?

I’ve been mentoring with CPE since July, 2019. I was matched with Joshua a few weeks later.

What is your favorite activity to do with your mentee?

The activity that Josh and I find ourselves engaged in most is discussions about music. We like to tease each other’s musical choices. I find it has been a safe and creative way to see into the mindset of the young man. We take turns sharing musical selections that the other should listen to and why. I’ve been able to connect and learn about him whilst sharing one of my passions.

What is one of your mentee’s dreams?

Josh is an ambitious teenager with multiple dreams. The one that stands out to me is his dream of being a mathematician and to serve in the Air Force. 

How are you helping him achieve it?

I am providing the appropriate amount of reminders for his goal. As we know, the world is full of distractions and it’s easy to get off track. So I make it a point to keep asking questions about what steps he’s taken and the steps he needs to take to achieve these goals. How is your math class going? Are you involved in any extracurricular math programs? Providing a listening ear when he talks about his JROTC experience. I have no personal knowledge of the military lifestyle but I am aware of the discipline that they are associated with. So I just reinforce to Josh that if this is a goal he’s serious about, he’s got to embrace the wishes of the leaders of the program.

How has CPE helped you in your mentoring relationship?

CPE has done an excellent job of giving the framework to fostering a healthy and dynamic mentorship. They have provided opportunities and events for Josh and I to get to know each other better. Whether that was the initial Icebreaker meetup at the Museum or the CPE Annual Luncheon where I was able to get to know some of his family members. CPE has given me so many different ideas that are outside of my line of thinking and I wouldn’t have come to them naturally. So I’m very grateful for the leadership and workers of CPE because they truly do an amazing job of making sure this experience is maximized.

What advice would you give anyone considering mentoring?

The advice that I would give anyone contemplating mentoring is to understand your role in the mentee’s life. I like to think of myself as a part of the team that is shaping the mentee’s developmental growth. It’s like the time in most people’s lives when they learned to ride a bike. The family is the base and training wheels of the bike, the mentee has the hands on the handlebars and directs the speed and direction of the life they want to lead. My role as a mentor is to be that imaginary hand on the back of them, always ready to provide a little bit of stability when they’re wobbling on the bike ride of life. So just understand that you do NOT have to save this mentee, just be an active participant. Listen more than you speak, be a supportive role model in the actions and ideas you lend and make sure they know you’ll be an outlet for them if they choose to look to you.