Loredana Cooper and Saheli Sheth.
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Loredana Cooper, multicultural entrepreneurial advisor at Black Hawk College, recently received the Girl on Fire Awards: 2022 Mentor of the Year from Lead(h)er.

The awards recognize the extraordinary achievements of the women in Lead(h)er’s Strike a Match mentoring program through their service to each other and the larger community.

Recipients are nominated by fellow program participants and demonstrate a unique and substantial commitment to the value of mentoring for the individual and the larger community.

“I asked for a mentor who would help me become not just a better professional, but a better human,” Saheli Sheth wrote in her nomination.

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“To say Loredana has gone above and beyond is a drastic understatement,” Sheth wrote. “By teaching me to choose kindness, always, Loredana has redefined for me what it means to be a good human.”

Sheth, a youth clinical therapist at Transitions Mental Health Services, was matched with Cooper as a mentor in June 2022. Since then, the two have met weekly.

“Loredana has offered life advice on relationships, family life, rising above jealousy, prayer, work-life balance, and the wisdom of my worth as a woman,” Sheth wrote.

Since Lead(h)er was founded in 2016, more than 1,000 women have been matched with mentors in the Quad Cities. The first Girl on Fire Awards were presented in 2018.

As the multicultural entrepreneurial advisor, Cooper oversees the Multicultural Entrepreneurial Center at Black Hawk College. The center serves students from underrepresented backgrounds, first-generation students and aspiring business entrepreneurs.

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