All my life I've always helped others and strived to contribute to my community. I first learned about PPALM when I was a student at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 2013. I was intrigued by its positive contribution to the community. A fellow soldier and college ROTC friend was a PPALM member at the time and encouraged me to not only join, but to volunteer as the president of PPALM’s Fort Leavenworth chapter. During my tenure as the chapter president, I networked to gain senior mentors for our organization and gained wisdom from them and their life and professional experiences.
During a recent deployment, I experienced both personal and professional challenges. I was grateful to lean on one of my PPALM mentors during that overwhelming time, as he talked me through my priorities and work-life balance. I now find myself drawn to other soldiers in similar situations. I have walked down the beaten path, and I can share my experiences with others and help them grow.
As I also grow into my career, I find mentoring to be very rewarding. It's not about what I've achieved myself, but rather the satisfaction I receive when I pay it forward.
Rochelle S. Ruiz Pressley is an active duty major in the U.S. Army. She currently serves as a battalion executive officer in Fort Bliss, Texas.