Drawing on the previous session, Mascarinas views dancing and mindfulness as two sides of the same coin – both means to an end of achieving clarity.
“When you’re doing your workout, you have a chance to think about things you’re stressed about – things you have to sort out or find a solution to,” she said. “Working out allows yourself time to do that, whether you’re a student at St. Malachy or a coworker at TransUnion.”
Following the dance session, mentor matches cooled down as they discussed how an active lifestyle benefits mental health by decreasing stress, improving sleep, boosting happiness, and increasing brain power. In turn, these benefits can improve academic and work performance. Plus, the potential for making new friends expands, simply by cooperating and forming new bonds with classmates, teammates…or mentors.
While sharing a healthy post-workout meal with her mentee Chasity – who said she loved dancing to Bruno Mars – Amanda Perez, Senior Analyst at TransUnion, reflected on the program.
“I didn’t expect to learn so much from the girls. They help me in so many ways. They really teach me patience,” said Perez, a returning mentor from last year. “I came into Friends First knowing that I wanted to give, but I didn’t consider how much I would receive as well. That’s my favorite thing about Friends First.”