The Power of Mentorship: A Talk with Pete Schramm

by | July 19, 2021 | Past Events | 2 comments

“How do you create leaders of the 21st century that are more agile, iterative, and more capable of responding to problems?”

Fred Brown, President and CEO of The Forbes Funds

The Forbes Funds was joined today by special guest Pete Schramm, Founder of Lattitude (formerly, Lattus), a mentoring platform. Peter is a firm advocate of the importance of mentoring in fostering dramatic personal and organizational development. Access the recording of this community call here.

Mentorship 101

In this powerful talk, Peter Schramm discussed the importance of mentorship in catalyzing people’s growth potential, building confidence, and reaching personal goals. He illustrated this by narrating his own story. As a young person, he was always interested in helping people out, and that became a lodestar in his personal life and professional career. For example, when he worked in Lockheed Martin, Pete noted how mentorship doesn’t always have to be vertical, but it can also be horizontal. This point was illustrated in his time with Lockheed Martin with peer-to-peer mentoring and accountability partners to help people keep on track.

In 2018, Pete made the leap of faith to become an entrepreneur to embody the question he had been asking himself, “What is my true purpose?” and created Lattus, a mentorship platform to solve organizational problems.

Employee Engagement is a huge problem slide

Pete showed this by discussing the problem of employee engagement, which according to the data, is at an all-time low and getting worse. Among the main culprits were misaligned values between the individual and the organization, employee disconnect from leadership, and lack of appreciation & uncertain job growth within a company. So what do about it?

The power of mentorship slide

Pete advocated for structured and institutionalized mentorship within an organization that would promote employee engagement at all levels, from targeted career guidance to creating a culture that sustains employee-employer relations. This constant level of interaction and feedback will help employees to successfully navigate the company landscape and, at the same time, increase employee retention.

During the Q & A, several listeners shared personal stories that showed the dramatic impact of mentorship in their personal and professional lives. He also clarified the differences between mentorship, sponsorship, and allyship. The first is directly helping/guiding others, the second is about making referrals, and the third is about breaking across boundaries or what he called diversity & equity in action.

Public Policy Updates with Emily Francis


National Democrats have announced a 3.5 trillion budget that will fund President Biden’s priorities such as climate change, health care, and family service programs.

Emily Francis encouraged viewers to speak with their local representative to make the case for best-distributing dollars from the state’s rainy day fund.

Department of Human Services Block Grant

Emily Francis wanted to highlight how the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is preparing for Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) that funds nonprofits in their mission to ameliorate the causes and conditions of poverty in disadvantaged and low-income communities across Pennsylvania.


The state unemployment rate is currently 6.9 % and the national unemployment rate is 5.9%. Emily Francis notes Pennsylvania has gained 60% of jobs lost during the pandemic.


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has released the Dismantling Systemic Racism Report (DSRI). The goals of the report are to evaluate current/past Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity programs outline structural racism in transportation and evaluate equitable programs and initiatives.

The goal of the report is to improve equity in contracting, public involvement, community investment, boards & commission, and internal organizational culture.


Covid-19 update Slide

Emily Francis noted that Covid-19 rates are climbing in areas of Pennsylvania where vaccination rates are low. And in efforts to increase vaccination rates in different racial demographics, public health officials are directly engaging with communities.

2021 GPNP Summit

GPNP 2021 Summit Slide

Emily Francis advertised the upcoming 2021 GPNP Summit. They are currently looking for interested speakers with innovative content. The deadline to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) is 30 July. The 2021 summit takes place on the 13, 14, and 15 of October.

Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership (ACCEL)

ACCEL Fundamentals and Advanced ACCEL Applications Slide

Dr. Hannah Karolak announced that the Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership (ACCEL) applications are open for ACCEL Fundamentals and ACCEL Advanced. Nonprofits interested in boosting their marketing & communication skills and creating better fundraising plans should take these courses. You may sign up for Fundamentals via this form or sign up for Advanced via this form.

Graduates earn a professional digital badge from The Forbes Funds, gain access to future ACCEL special events, and join a network of local ACCEL alumni.

Resilence and Parternership Cohort

Emma Yourd invited viewers to sign up for the Resilience and Partnership Cohort. The Forbes Funds theory of change is that resilience is built through partnership and working toward shared goals. Those accepted into the program will build real-time, collaborative relationships and work together with capacity-building experts to design collaborative grant projects. Upon completing the cohort, participating groups may elect to move their project forward for funding via The Forbes Funds’ Management Assistance Grants (MAGS) program.

Sign up for the program and get more details.

Innovation Lab and Equity Hackathon

Innovation Lab Slide

The Innovation Lab is looking for potential participants to brainstorm innovative solutions to existing challenges and advance equity in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region, emphasizing cross-sectoral teams. Specifically, she is looking for participants in the neighborhood & built environment, social context determinants, healthcare quality & access fields. Get more information on how to sign up for the Innovation Lab here. 

Black Equity Coalition

Black Equity Coalition Slide

Alissa Monette of the Black Equity Coalition gave a brief health update. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has distributed over 11.3 million vaccinations to date, with over 65% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

You can follow the Black Equity Coalition on social media here:

Future Events

Be sure to register for future Community Solutions Calls here. See you at the next Community Solutions Call or a number of our upcoming events here!

  1. Ali Jaffar

    What an important discussion on the power of mentorships and how this ties in with employee engagement via the Lattus platform. Great updates on the public policy items by the way. And wow, there are so many great opportunities with The Forbes Funds!

    • Ali –

      I agree that this Community Call discussion was powerful.

      I also enjoyed the concluding presentation updates from Emily with GPNP as well as Dr. Hannah Karolak, and the Innovation Lab. I am looking forward to maximizing impact as the Capacity Associate with Black Equity Coalition + The Forbes Funds community.

      -Alissa Monette

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