Sophomore economics major Amelia Chicas has been selected to facilitate the opening plenary at MENTOR New York’s 20th annual Mentoring Matters Conference on Friday, March 31. As moderator, Chicas will interview Keynote Speaker Reggie Love, bestselling author and former personal aide to Barack Obama.
“I really look forward to picking Reggie’s brain,” Chicas said. “In his autobiography, he talked a lot about the lack of diversity he saw in politics, so I definitely want to delve into his experience in Washington and how he helped foster inclusion within the political sphere.”
The virtual conference is dedicated to celebrating advancements, amplifying voices and exploring current issues in the field of mentoring and youth development. It will comprise both morning and afternoon sessions featuring various discussion panels, practice-based workshops and breakout sessions — all aimed at supporting young people and the mentors who serve them.
“We wanted a young person to interview our keynote speaker, and my mind immediately went to Amelia,” said Brenda Jimenez, CEO of MENTOR New York. “She is an inspiring, committed young leader and skilled facilitator who knows first-hand the positive impact mentoring relationships can have in young people’s daily lives. I am thrilled that she accepted this opportunity.”
Chicas is a first generation American and native Long Islander from Brentwood, NY, with Dominican and Salvadorian heritage, and she aspires to become a financial analyst and business owner. She first connected with MENTOR New York last summer while interning as a finance associate at ACRES Capital Management, a Long Island real estate company.
In November, she collaborated with MENTOR New York to organize and facilitate a panel discussion for Stony Brook’s Delta Sigma Pi chapter, for which she served as chair of diversity, equity and inclusion. Also conducted virtually, this event focused on promoting equality in business.
“A key takeaway from my first moderating experience was the value of natural conversation — it wasn’t just an interview where I was shooting out questions,” Chicas said. “So for my discussion with Reggie, I really want to enhance that even more and give people an engaging conversation that also answers all the questions they may have.”