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National Volunteer Week 2018: Meet business mentor Natalie Festa

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Natalie Festa, an accountant and entrepreneur in Toronto, volunteers her time to support student entrepreneurs at Father Bressani Catholic High School in Woodbridge, Ontario, as a volunteer business mentor with The Learning Partnership’s Dragons’ Nest program.

As this week marks National Volunteer Week, we caught up with Natalie, who opened up about her role as a business mentor and the impact it has made in her life.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I am a CPA by profession. After working at KPMG for four years. I thought it was time to explore the developing world so I spent six months in Tanzania working with a group of artisans making purses. I fell in love with the supply chain of sustainable fashion. Then I started my own business called Boro, which is a marketplace for women to rent out their closet and rent other people’s closets.

Q. What is your role like as a business mentor?

It’s fulfilling to teach youth about the concepts I’ve been studying and learning myself both in school and in real business. I enjoy answering their questions and using what I’ve learned to help them reach success.

Q. Why did you get involved as a business mentor?

I enjoy giving back to the community and Father Bressani is my high school so I thought it would be fun to come full circle. I also wanted to start getting more experience with public speaking so this was a good opportunity.

Q. What have you gotten out of the program?

I’ve expanded my speaking and presentation skills as well as the fulfilling feeling of giving back to the inspiring youthful community.