Meet Your Mentor: Ginny Whitman

May 15, 2020

Hi, my name is Ginny Whitman and I have been an Ophelia Mentor at La Quinta High School for four years. I was part of a group of Mentors who launched the Ophelia Project in 2016 at La Quinta High School.

I became an Ophelia Mentor when I first moved to the desert from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am an attorney and spent much of my career really trying to help people with their everyday problems. I also was very engaged in community service: I spent ten years mentoring young women who had recently graduated from Law School and was on the Board of a foster care child advocacy organization. When I moved here, I knew I wanted to volunteer my time. It was just a matter of finding the right fit for me

I was at the La Quinta Art Show in 2015, when I turned a corner and saw the Ophelia flag. Gay Bain was there, and she told me all about Ophelia. I was blown away by her passion, and the opportunity it presented. I decided then to volunteer. It matches perfectly with my interests and desire to help young people, especially young women.

It’s hard to isolate exactly what I love about mentoring, but it certainly starts with the girls. We have all experienced the joy of really connecting with our girls, and feeling like you have made a real difference in someone’s life. I have also experienced the frustration of not being really able to reach a girl and seeing her drift away, but the successes keep me going. I also have loved the relationships I have developed with my co-mentors and Ophelia staff. This organization is full of awesome women, and it has been my privilege to get to know so many of you.

I am a former tennis player, but orthopedic issues have kept me off the courts. These days I play golf, hike, bike, and enjoy the beauty of the desert. My husband and I got a Corgi puppy about a year ago, and he keeps me really busy. I also have a strong interest in politics and social justice issues. I drive myself crazy some days reading multiple newspapers and magazines, but it’s what I do….. I also am spending lots of time helping my husband prepare to run for a seat on the Indian Wells City Council.

What am I doing these days? Obviously, all routine is out the window, and I have had to devise new ways of keeping myself busy, happy, and healthy. I have been married to my husband Bruce for forty years, and we have two grown sons who we adore. They have been my rocks during this shutdown, and have kept me sane. I also come from a large family, and we stay in touch on a regular basis. I’m also making efforts to stay in touch with close friends and find that social media has been very helpful. I have a handful of friends that send me ridiculous videos every day, and I try to reciprocate.

Beyond that, life is pretty quiet. I spend a lot of time walking the dog, biking, and reading. We also have been watching some pretty great shows on Netflix. I am so sad, however, for our girls, especially the seniors who have had their lives totally disrupted. I try to stay in touch with them and remind myself how lucky I am.