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Our Mentors: Laura Kupe

laura-2I have had the honor of being a mentor to Amani Bushiri for over a year. I am so happy that I was paired with Amani because we share a lot of common interests like human rights and international affairs. She is an incredibly mature, responsible, and intelligent young woman, and I look forward to seeing everything that she will accomplish.I thought it was very important to take a part in FLOCA’s mentorship program as a first generation Congolese-American woman. Overall, Congolese-Americans are recent immigrants in the U.S., and growing up, I did not see many Congolese-Americans in key leadership roles in government or industry compared to other African immigrant communities. Having to navigate the political scene in Washington through trial and error, I fortunately was able to create a path for myself by finding wonderful mentors and role models along the way. My hope is to replicate this relationship with Amani with our check-in phone calls. Mentorship has played a key role in my life, particularly when I was a student at the University of Michigan. I was part of a mentorship program as a freshman and sophomore, where I was paired with an upperclassman to ensure that I was succeeding academically. I then later participated as a mentor in this same program when I was a junior and senior. I just wanted to give back to my community and see successive generations of Congolese-Americans pursue their goals and dreams in the United States. I am happy that organizations like FLOCA exist to make this happen.

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