Student & Mentor Spotlight: Zoria, Eric, and Stephanie

By Annie Kennedy, Community Manager

Zoria and her mentor Eric at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

This month’s Student & Mentor Spotlight highlights the trio of Zoria, a 6th grader from Fairfield Academy, and Eric Akiwumi and Stephanie Sahota, mentors in the Workplace Mentoring program at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Their pairing in 2016 was a brilliant move that would lead to many heartwarming and hilarious WITS sessions.

How did you first get involved with WITS? How long have you been a part of WITS?

Zoria: My classmates told me about it, and I’ve been in WITS for two years.

Eric: I was introduced to the program by a colleague at work, and I’ve been a mentor since 2013.

Stephanie: I have been a part of WITS since 2013. I first got involved through my job at the Federal Reserve Bank.


What do you do for fun when you’re not at WITS?

Zoria: I play with my sister and my brother.

Eric: I like to bike along Lake Michigan and sample the great restaurant scene in Chicago.

Stephanie: I am getting my MBA part-time from Chicago Booth. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, fishing, and traveling.

Zoria and her mentor Stephanie at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

What is one interesting thing about you that not a lot of people know?

Zoria: I don’t tell people my secrets.

Eric: I learned and played Pickleball in college.

Stephanie: I have two pet sugar gliders: Madison, named after James Madison, and Scholes, named after Myron Scholes.


What is your favorite thing about each other?

Zoria: Stephanie is a nice person who will help everyone, and Eric is funny.

Eric: Zoria is an amazingly smart, curious, kind, funny, and very mature 6th grader.

Stephanie: Zoria is always eager to read and learn; she never hesitates to ask questions to expand her knowledge.


What is your favorite book that you’ve read with each other?

Zoria and Stephanie: Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

Eric: A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon


Some authors use a pen name instead of their real name when they write a book. What would your pen name be?

Zoria: Zoey Clarkson

Eric: Damocles Clark

Stephanie: Jennifer Rowling


Pizza plays a big role in WITS celebrations. If you could only eat one pizza topping for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Zoria: Mozzarella

Eric: Mushrooms

Stephanie: Pepperoni


Complete this sentence: The octopus…

Zoria: …is making friends with my cat, Boris.

Eric: …picked the winner of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Stephanie: …can escape from anywhere because of its ability to change its body shape.