CYC Success Story

Monica Banks Burgess loves working at Luxottica because of the benefits, and she’s not just talking about health care. She’s talking about the Luxottica Mentoring Program, a partnership between Luxottica, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC), and Withrow High School, an element she recalls being integral in choosing to work there. “There’s a company that wants to give back to kids, that’s part of working here,” Monica said, “It’s something that’s supported by the company.”

Even better is the way that Monica has come full circle. You see, Monica was a part of Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates (JCG) back in 1994, and now JCG is a part of CYC—full circle. During her senior year of high school, Monica enrolled in JCG at Winton Woods and she quickly developed a deep rapport with her Career Specialist, Lynn Anderson. Anderson was instrumental in helping Monica cope with her parents’ divorce that year. “She just knew something was going on, just kind of pulled me aside and put me underneath her wing to keep me busy and keep my head out of all that was going on.”

After high school, Monica thought she would take a year off to save for medical school. But her summer internship led to another job, which led to another, which became years of opportunities leading her into the in-depth business aspects of retail. Four years ago those opportunities led her to Luxottica. Monica is now an avid supporter of the Luxottica Mentoring Program, as well as a mentor through CYC’s one-to-one mentoring program. She even recently got back in touch with Lynn Anderson, declaring, “She’s never coming off my radar for 20 years again.”

Monica looks back on her journey with pleasant surprise. “I’m a planner by nature. Just knowing that I did not take the traditional path yet still found success is the biggest lesson I learned. I’m not a doctor, but I’m still giving back, I’m highly involved – success in that way.”