Rachel Fishman: Co-Founder & Program Manager, Courtyard Mentor Network
The Family Focus Media Team is proud to recognize Rachel Fishman with a Women of Influence Award.
The Family Focus Media Women of Influence Awards are designed to acknowledge and amplify the influence exceptional local women have in our Community, showcasing their accomplishments and encouraging others to follow their example. Through their efforts, these influencers have demonstrated the power to shape attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors on a large scale.
“Rachel Fishman is a relentless and consistent advocate for underserved youth and a staple in her community, co-founding one of the premier mentoring programs in Philadelphia, the Courtyard Mentor Network (CMN). The Courtyard Mentor Network (CMN), in partnership with the KB Foundation, is a unique community within a community, working to continually introduce young men to life’s career options, shepherded by a network of mentors who become permanent resources. Since its inception in the spring of 2021, CMN (through Rachel Fishman’s administration and management) has served 30 young men, averaging 13.5 years old, introducing them to 85 mentors across 54 professions. Although incredibly humble, and would not even like the fact that I am writing this, I can’t imagine a more inspiring, more deserving woman for this recognition. She is a role model who inspires others to pursue their passions directly, break barriers and make a positive impact on the world!” – Kristen Elmi
Rachel Fishman co-founded the Courtyard Mentor Network to help adolescent young men in Philadelphia achieve their long-term goals. “As a mother of three children, I understand the importance of guiding young minds towards a meaningful direction. Witnessing the positive impact of mentorship on these youths’ lives drives my motivation and fuels my success in making a difference in their futures. Seeing them grow and thrive is incredibly rewarding and keeps me dedicated to this fulfilling work,” Rachel says.
Hard Work and Giving Back
The Courtyard Mentor Network supports young people who come from challenging backgrounds or face limited access to resources and opportunities. The program provides them with caring and guiding figures that they can rely on for advice, encouragement, and mentorship.
“By dedicating my time to these youth and our program, it has helped them discover their interests, talents, and potential. Our program has exposed them to various experiences and fields they may not have been aware of before, helping them broaden their horizons and set their sights on fulfilling life paths,” Rachel says. “By showing genuine interest in their well-being and success they are able to build their self-confidence. This fuels me to continue my work in our community.”
Point of Pride
Rachel has been especially touched by the growth of a 14-year-old named Christin who is in the Courtyard Mentor Network program. When he started the program as a 12 year old, Christin struggled with low low self-esteem. “Through our regular mentoring sessions, we focused on exposing him to different fields and meeting many different mentors from different career backgrounds. Over time, I noticed a significant transformation in Christin,” Rachel says. “He began to believe in himself and his capabilities and his self-assurance grew. Last year Christin ran for a student council position and won, in addition, he spoke in front of the entire Philadelphia School Board advocating for his peers to have access to algebra class. Based on his advocacy, the 8th graders in his school received the option to start taking algebra this school year. Seeing Christin’s growth and enthusiasm has been incredibly fulfilling, and it reinforces my commitment to continuing to support and guide other underserved youths in their paths towards success.”