Jody Shiroma’s Advice: Never Stop Growing
The PBS Hawaiʻi executive helps young people interested in media and PR, and she still seeks advice from her own mentors.
“You can positively transform someone’s life with your own experiences,” says Jody Shiroma, VP of communications at PBS Hawai‘i and a mentor for over two decades.
She volunteers with ADvise, a program that mentors young people in the fields of advertising, marketing, digital media, graphic design and public relations.
Shiroma helps with networking and climbing the career ladder, as well as marketing and other professional skills. And since the start of the pandemic, her mentoring has also addressed work-life balance and stress management.
Back in 2000, Shiroma created a youth board for Sassy/G Magazine, where she was co-owner and editor in chief. She mentored middle and high school students on the board for eight years.
“They were hungry for someone outside of their circle to guide, talk to and really believe in them,” she says.
Board members wrote for the magazine, did community service and ran fundraisers. Shiroma says she helped them grow by giving them challenging projects and guiding them.
“Mentoring Goes Both Ways”
Shiroma says mentorships are not one-sided. “Mentoring goes both ways. It’s not just you as an adult mentoring the youth. It is also the opposite.” Among the things she gains are new perspectives.
Her advice for other mentors: “Lead with authenticity and forge relationships with people, whatever age they are.”
And for Shiroma, having a growth mindset is vital.
“People think: I’ve graduated school, I’ve got a job. I don’t need to grow,” Shiroma says. Instead, she says people should never stop growing – and should always be receptive to constructive criticism.
“I’ve had great mentors that have shaped me as a person,” Shiroma says. One who kept pushing her forward, she says, was Kim Gennaula, Shiroma’s boss when both were at Aloha United Way. Gennaula is now executive director of advancement at ‘Iolani School.
Gennaula will say, “Tell me what your lifelong goals are. I want to help you get where you want to go,” Shiroma says.
Shiroma still occasionally mentors some of the people from her times with Sassy/G Magazine and other organizations.
“I still reach out to people like Kim Gennaula for advice. And people still come to me for advice.”