Mentoring Future Leaders

At She Shares we believe strongly in nurturing the next generation of women leaders. That’s why She Shares is also a mentoring and networking opportunity for young women. She Shares highly values our mentorship program as a way to cultivate successful and meaningful professional experiences for the next generation.


This year long mentorship program pairs young women with professional Sacramento women at the top of their careers. In non COVID times, the pairs meet at each She Shares event during the year and arrange for additional in person networking opportunities like lunches, attending conferences together, or asking for help with reviewing your resume. In 2020, we pivoted to everything virtual which has provided more opportunities for professional development workshops for our mentees and mentors. We hosted 11 virtual workshops on topics like: Zoom etiquette, taking the next step in your career, how to negotiate your salary at a new job, and networking 101. It is not required to attend all of these events, but we ask that you do your best to attend as many as you can and are relevant to you!


Mentees and mentors can arrange their meet ups as they are comfortable with. Most will do Zoom or telephone meetings to get to know each other and go from there.


Read testimonials from previous mentees and mentors here!


The 2022 application period has closed.


Please email questions to Tamara Torlakson at

Mentorship Program FAQs

What are the qualifications for a mentor?
Mentors are women that are further along in their career, approximately 7+ years of experience, although it does not have to be at the same job that whole time. They should be able to offer mentorship and advice to women just starting out in their career and be able to meet virtually or in person at least five times during the year with their pair.


What are the qualifications for a mentee?
Mentees are women that are newer in their career, usually just starting out, approximately in the first 5 or so years of their career. Although if there has been a major career change or a delay in starting the work force due to life circumstances, we still welcome you to apply and explain that! We ask that our mentees be graduated from college – but they can be enrolled in law school, business school or similar programs.   


Is there an age requirement?
There is no age requirement, but usually our mentees end up being in their 20’s and our mentors are in their 30’s on up to their 60’s. If you had a late start to your career and worry you are “too old” for the program, reach out anyways and we can see if you are a good fit!


Is there a fee to participate?
No, the program is completely free to participants! In fact, when we get back to having our in person events, all mentors and mentees will be able to attend complimentary as part of our program. Tickets to our event usually sell for $65 per person.


How does the matching process work?
We will typically match you with someone in a similar career field – or in the career field you are interested in that you described on your resume. For example, we once paired a law school student with a local Judge! If there is a particular type of career that you would like to be paired with, please let us know on the application. For example, if you are currently working for a legislator, but you would really like to become a lobbyist, we can try to pair you with a lobbyist.


Do you have to be located in Sacramento in order to participate?
For 2021, since we expect most things to be virtual, you do not have to be in Sacramento to participate. The only disadvantage to not being in Sacramento is that if we do return to in person events, it would be harder to attend, but you would still be welcome! In 2020, we hosted our main conversation events virtually via YouTube and we had about 10 practical workshops on Zoom throughout the year as well. 


How often do you have to engage with your mentor/mentee pair?
We encourage each pair to work out what works best for them, but we do suggest that you meet (whether that is virtually or in person) at least five times throughout the year. This can be Zoom meetings, socially distant coffee/walks, meeting about your resume, making a connection for a job interview, practicing interview skills with each other, starting a book club and more! You will really get out of it what you put into it!


How long is the program?
You will officially be in the program for the entire calendar year. But after the program, many of our pairs stay in touch and continue their relationship for years! You will also be on our mailing list moving forward so you can join our events in the future. We always offer our alumna mentees a discount for our in person events too!

2021 Mentorship Class


Alicia Priego, Vice President, Strategies 360; paired with Genesis Alvarez, Development Associate, Global Green


Amanda Blackwood, President & CEO, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce; paired with Diana Britton, Shield Emerging Leader, Enterprise Architecture, Blue Shield of California


Angela Blanchard, Partner, Political Solutions; paired with Christen Helfrich, Digital Coordinator, Unearth Campaigns


Arielle Julie, Lead Recruiter, Pinterest Product Design; paired with Auriona Adefris, Business Development Representative, Rocket Lawyer


Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Founder and Principal, Sowing Change Strategies; paired with Alexis Dascoulias Foley, Legislative Intern, Child Support Directors Association of California


Athena Chapman, President, Chapman Consulting; paired with Sarah Clair, Junior Policy Consultant, Behavioral Health Policy, Aurrera Health Group


Audrey Lee, Director, Board of Directors, ArcLight Clean Transition Corp.; paired with Renee Hu, Scientific Aide, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board


Caitlin McShane, Principal, EMC Communications; paired with Alex Ackert-Smith, Member Engagement Associate, CapRadio


Chantel Johnson-Crockrom, Principal, External Affairs, Blue Shield of California; paired with Symphoni Barbee, Fellow, California State Senate        


Christina Lokke, Policy Manager, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG); paired with Charlene Keizer, Staff Service Manager 1, Specialist Covered California


Cindy Simmons, Associate Director, UC Center Sacramento; paired with Buri Vang, Investment Officer I, CalPERS


Claire Conlon, Chief of Staff, Assembywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris; paired with Alexandra Lamirande, Account Manager, Perry Communications Group, Inc.


Connie Delgado, CEO, Delgado Government Affairs; paired with Jennifer Armenta, Research Assistant, Political Science Department, UC Merced


Connie Emerson, Principal, Sanders Emerson Consulting; paired with Brit Kelleher, Business Development Specialist, SAFE Credit Union


Corinne Chee, Owner and Media Specialist, CJC Communications; paired with Brittani Fine, Corporate Support Administrative Assistant, CapRadio


Cynthia Moreno, Assistant Deputy Director of Communications, Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations, California Department of Motor Vehicles; paired with Bianey Mercado, Apprentice, Lucas Public Affairs


Danielle Kando-Kaiser, Founding Partner, Corbin and Kaiser; paired with Nune GaripianLegislative Advocate, Community College League of California


Deanna Johnston, Associate Director, State Affairs, Organon; paired with Melissa Sagun, Fellow, Office of Assemblymember Rob Bonta


Debbie Howard, Consultant, KP; paired with Farnaz Bi, Cardiovascular Manager, Pediatric Heart Center, UC Davis Health


Dr. Flojaune Cofer, Senior Director of Policy, Public Health Advocates; paired with Make'da Traynum, Consumer Advocate/ Health Insurance Agent, Healthsherpa


Erin Baum, Chief of Staff, Assemblymember David Chiu; paired with Alessandra Magnasco, Fellow, California State Senate


Erynne Zhang, Vice President, Evoke KYNE; paired with Sarah Vu, External Affairs Specialist, Covered California


Fiona Hutton, President, Fiona Hutton & Associates; paired with Melissa Granville,Senior Program Director, Capitol Impact


Gina da Silva, Senior Policy Advisor for Immigration, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom; paired with Adriana Gómez, Fellow, California State Senate


Heather Bates, COO, VP of Stakeholder Engagement, Transform Health, LLC; paired with Jeannette Emerton Carpenter, Policy Analyst, California Department of Health Care Services


Holly Martinez, Interim Executive Director, California Commission on the Status of Women; paired with Rachel Alderette, Program Associate, Capitol Impact  


Janette Cruz, Sr. Enterprise Performance Planning Coordinator, SMUD; paired with Bonnie Sao, Sr. Performance & Quality Analyst, KP


Jennifer Roe, Lobbyist, Capitol Advocacy; paired with Sophie Emerson, Intern, Lucas Public Affairs


Jessica Ng, Managing Director, Mercury Public Affairs; paired with Cathy Doan, Business Engagement Consultant, Workforce Development Section, California Department of Rehabilitation


Julia Ballantyne, Owner, Ballantyne Media Consulting, LLC; paired with Maya Umemoto Gorman, Freelance photographer


Kara Ueda, Judge, Sacramento Superior Court; paired with Itir Yakar, Board Counsel, California Agricultural Labor Relations Board


Karen Zamarripa, President, Karen Zamarripa Consulting; paired with Marisa Johnson, Policy Fellow, The Campaign for College Opportunity


Karina Talamantes, Chief of Staff, Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby, City of Sacramento; paired with Karina Paredes, Student Engagement & Policy Associate, Public Advocates Inc.


Karli Eisenberg, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office; paired with Andrea Rivera, Senior Legislative Advocate, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network


Katherine Brandenburg, Principal, Brandenburg Group; paired with Nayiri Baghdassarian, Outreach Consultant/Project Coordinator, California State Assembly, Democratic Office of Communications and Outreach


Katie Hansen, Senior Legislative Director, California Restaurant Association; paired with Madeline Cline, Client Accounts Director & Advocate, Golden Bridge Strategies


Kelly Boyd, Golden Grid Strategies; paired with Marissa Arechavaleta, Senior Resource Management Analyst, California Independent System Operator


Kerry Yoshida, Policy Consultant, Senate Republican Caucus; paired with Alyssa Lee, Fellow, California State Senate


Kristina Bas Hamilton, Principal, KBH Advocacy; paired with Bella Romero, Creative Content Producer, California State Assembly, Democratic Office of Communications and Outreach


Krystal Moreno, Legislative Director, Senator Susan Rubio; paired with Rubie Gonzalez-Parra, Fellow, California State Senate


Kyla Aquino Irving, Marketing & Communications Manager, United Way California Capitol Region; paired with Constantina Stekas, Program Assistant, The Institute for Family Health


Lande Ajose, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom; paired with Eliza Brooks, Fellow, California State Assembly


Lauren Babb, Assistant Director, Office of Legislation and Regulations, California Department of Developmental Services; paired with De’Anna Miller, Fellow, California State Senate


Lauren Greenwood, Government Partnerships Manager – West, Spin; paired with Grecia Diaz, Fellow, CalRecycle


Libby Hall, Vice President of Client Services, Unearth Campaigns; paired with Sierra Summers, CEO, Main Shark


Liliana Bernal, Managing Partner, Balance Staffing; paired with Cynthia Garcia, Project Manager I, Kaiser LAMC


Linda White, Government Affairs Manager, BMW North America; paired with Kapri Walker, Fellow, California State Senate


Maricela Rodriguez, Director of Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom; paired with Sara Bilotta, Intern, Lucas Public Affairs

Marissa Currie, Manager, Public Affairs, Sutter Health; paired with Grace Becker, Executive Assistant, Lucas Public Affairs


Marva Brown, Human Services Policy Consultant, Senate Pro Tem Atkins; paired with Corey Rodda, Child Care Policy Analyst, California Department of Social Services


Mary Meuel, Senior Legislative Advocate, California State University; paired with Lesley Brizuela, Fellow, California State Senate


Maya Wallace, Performance Manager & Internal Auditor, California Department of Justice; paired with Shannon Flores, Legislative Aide, Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Reyes


Megan Sapigao, Coordinator, Sac API Regional Network; paired with Angelica Moua, Barist, Philz Coffee


Melanie Cuevas, Vice President of Government Affairs, California Bankers Association; paired with Julie Cravotto, Legislative Aide, California State Assembly


Melanie Ramil, Executive Director, EmergeCA; paired with Jackie Yoon, UC Davis Class of 2019  


Michelle Reyes, Legislative Director, Senator John Laird; paired with Armida Reyes, District Liaison for City of Los Angeles Councilmember Nithya Raman 


Michelle Teran, Legislative Director, Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva; paired with Cindy Gerges, Law Fellow, Education Equity Team, Public Advocates


Natalie Johnston Butcher, Associate Director of Career Services, UC Davis School of Law; paired with Dulce Huerta, UC Merced Class of 2021     


Natalie Cardenas, Regional Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs, UCB, Inc. (pharmaceutical company); paired with Madison Rasmussen, Junior Account Executive, Aurrera Health Group


Osha Meserve, Shareholder, Soluri Meserve, A Law Corporation; paired with Christina Suarez, J.D. Candidate - Class of '22, UC Davis School of Law


Rebecca Nicholas, Vice President, Fiona Hutton & Associates; paired with Sarah Goodman, Fellow, California State Assembly


Sabrina Rossi, Licensed Clinical Social Worker; paired with Chelsie Moody, Case Supervisor, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Ventura County


Sadiya Nur, Senior Product Marketing Manager,; paired with Mishaal Gill, Legislative Aide, Office of Assemblymember Jose Medina


Sandra Perez, Former Director, UC Program on Access to Care & Patient Advocate, State of California; paired with Brianna Tatum, Patient Access Specialist, Oregon Health and Science University


Su Jin Gatlin Jez, Ph.D., Executive Director, California Competes, paired with Claire Chevallier, Policy and Program Analyst for Graduate, Undergraduate and Equity Affairs, University of California Office of the President


Susan Wheeler, Workforce Outreach Manager, SMUD; paired with Angelina Olweny, Promise Zone Sustainability Coordinator, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA)


Tina Thomas, Founder, Thomas Law Group; paired with Stephanie Quero, Legal Receptionist, Gade and Parekh Attorneys at Law

Past Mentorship Workshops from 2021

Past Mentorship Workshops from 2020

Get Involved

Mentoring Future Leaders

Run in partnership with the California Center for Civic Participation, She Shares offers a mentorship and networking opportuntiy for young women.


For more information, contact She Shares.


She Shares offers event sponsorship at many levels for organizations and businesses interested in supporting the next generation of women leaders. Because the California Center for Civic Participation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to She Shares are tax-deductible.


For more information, please contact Tamara Torlakson.


To subscribe to the She Shares mailing list, please email 


She Shares

1220 H Street, Suite 102
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916.447.4099 

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