About the Author: Paula C. Dirkes

Paula Dirkes earned her BS degree in secondary education from Michigan State University and her MA degree in Human Performance Improvement from the University of Michigan. She has taught and coached junior high school students in Lansing, Michigan and worked with infants through college students as the Youth & Aquatic Director at the Lansing Central YMCA. She has worked in secondary schools, corporate health promotion and in the healthcare industry for the majority of her career when working with adults.

Since 2001 she has been an active community-based mentor to Chelsea McKinney, a faith-based mentor for 12-18 year old boys and girls at Renaissance Unity church in Warren, Michigan, a school-based mentor/coach in the 'Teen Leadership' program at Hazel Park High School, a repeat adult volunteer at over 25 Challenge Day programs at numerous secondary schools in metro Detroit as well as a one-on-one tutor for grade school children at Timbuktu Academy of Science and Technology in east Detroit.

She is an active speaker for mentoring organizations, professional organizations, churches and schools and a youth mentoring advocate. She published two digital books in 2008 MENTORrific Women! Taking a Girl Under Your Wing & MENTORrific Success Stories: Inspiring Stories from Youth Mentors & Mentees. Her most recent paperback book - Mentor Me!The Complete Guide for Women Who want to Mentor Girls was released in January, 2012. She lives in Berkley, Michigan.