White earns NAVAIR Mentor of the Year honors for China Lake
Jeffery White is this year’s NAVAIR Mentor of the Year for China Lake.
White’s Navy career – and his mentoring journey – all started on his first shift as a Sailor in 1982 on the U.S.S. Copeland (FFG 25) in Long Beach, California. White served in the Navy for 22 years and joined Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in 2005. Since his first day at work, White has had dozens of mentors who have been, in his words, “Spectacular.”
It was the leadership of those Sailors that set the stage for White and forged his mentorship style.
“I don’t see myself as a mentor, but more as a leader. You could even say I am more of a cheerleader than a mentor,” said White.
You can see how much of a cheerleader White is when looking through his nomination package. Every paragraph you can see how he has encouraged and supported those around him to not only better themselves in the work place but as a human being.
In nominating White, Thea Snelgrove explained just what kind of a cheerleader White really is.
“He has helped guide and support me through some of the toughest challenges, encouraged me throughout my successes, and has helped shape the person that I am today,” she wrote.
Franchesca Craft was also directly impacted by the mentorship and leadership of White as she has climbed from a DS-04 to a DS-06 in her career.
“My mentor's guidance directly influenced my promotional path within the organization, steering me through promotional ranks and entrusting me with the opportunity to lead his cyber team for nearly 8 years. He also encouraged assistance with other groups to expand our knowledge to ensure success across our community,” said Craft.
One reason White thinks he is successful at being a mentor is that he looks at everyone’s path individually and not as a collective.
“Everyone has a path and it might not be the same as yours. Providing advice or leadership that directly relates to you is not always best for them,” said White.
To be able to help with those unique journeys, White has to have a good understanding of what each individual is doing and what they want to accomplish. His genuine concern is obvious to those he mentors.
“He genuinely cares for his mentees,” said Snelgrove. “When I encountered challenges, he would always find time to lend a listening ear, provide insights, perspectives and advice, while helping me learn how to navigate the challenges in my own way.”
During his 42-year career, White has spent countless hours leading and encouraging others to get where they want to be in life and their career. He hopes he has made an impact on each person’s life that he has touched.
“It is a worthwhile investment. It is worth the time and effort,” said White. “It not only helps shape NAWCWD; it also helps shape people.”
Craft and Snelgrove each wanted to thank White for what he has done for their career and personal lives.
“Thank you, Jeffery, for your instrumental role in my professional growth. Your guidance, support, and transformative mentorship have not only shaped my career but have profoundly impacted my life,” Craft said.
“He has continued to be one of my most valuable supporters throughout my career and my life, and I would not be anywhere close to where I am today without his guidance, mentorship, and encouragement,” said Snelgrove. “Jeff has had a tremendous and lasting impact on my professional career and in my life that I will be forever grateful for.”