Working with Her Mentor: Meet Marianthi

“I like to think that I’m a very unique person and that I’ve lived a lot of lives,” Marianthi said with a smile. In less than three decades of life, she has beaten cancer twice and worked as a professional opera singer, traveling all around the country.

However, after her second bout with cancer and the pandemic halting her opera career, Marianthi found herself searching for a new career path. “Being in my late 20s and seeing all of my colleagues excelling around me, I was very insecure about where I was in life. I’d lost my finances and career, and I needed to figure out how I was going to catch up again to my aspirations,” said Marianthi. “My biggest priority was figuring out my career as soon as I got out of treatment.”

Marianthi came to Connecting Champions with a clear goal of entering the medical equipment sales world but was unsure of next steps. She credits a lot of where she is today to the organization’s staff and willingness to help, especially Program Director Coy Thompson. “I remember my initial conversations with Coy and his eagerness to help me find a solution to what I was trying to do with Connecting Champions,” Marianthi stated.

Connecting Champions found an executive of a health technology company primarily focused on women’s health to talk to Marianthi and answer her questions. Immediately, Marianthi clicked with her mentor and was able to really soak up his wisdom and guidance, comparing her mentor to Albus Dumbledore, the wise headmaster of the Harry Potter series. “Everything he says is just so thought out and deep and profound,” Marianthi reminisced on her initial conversation.

Their conversation through Connecting Champions was not the end of their relationship, however, as Marianthi later reconnected with her mentor after she interviewed for and accepted a position under him as part of his team. “It was one of those circumstances that was not a coincidence; it’s totally meant to be,” Marianthi said. Now, Marianthi is working for the same company that provided the equipment that saved her life during treatment in Chicago. “I’m literally bringing the same solutions to the physicians and patients in Miami and it’s the same equipment that was used on me. It’s super full circle. Every time I say that, I get goosebumps.”

It is a unique experience to see a Connecting Champions participant work with their mentor in the professional field. “When I first met Marianthi, I could see how driven she was, and it was extremely helpful how focused and clear her ask for a mentor was: someone in the oncological medical device field,” said Coy. “I should not be surprised that she ended up working at the same company as her mentor, but I was still very pleasantly surprised when I heard such great news.”

Marianthi came to the organization with a clear mind but foggy path. Now working alongside her mentor, she has found a greater meaning to her work. “For me, it gives purpose to my experience,” said Marianthi. “One of the things that cancer patients struggle with is trying to identify the why behind being diagnosed. It’s given me a lot of purpose to have this job and help other patients and healthcare workers in the oncology space. That is my why and it’s so powerful. It goes beyond my work and into my life.”

Activity Kits

National Geographic Science Magic Kit

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

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