Bench Mark Program mentor, Alli Doughton, spends her days helping people as an Occupational Therapist, but that’s not where her generosity and compassion stops. For the last year and a half, she has come to the Bench Mark gym consistently every week to connect with our students while working out. She has made it her mission to empower the young women at Bench Mark and we know they appreciate her upbeat attitude and friendly personality that she brings to the gym every day!
1. What has been your favorite thing about being a part of Bench Mark Program?
I appreciate the community that is Bench Mark. On any given night I know that I will have the space and time to not only workout but also to connect with students and mentors through interactions that are authentic because of the comfortable environment of the gym.
2. What do you hope the students can learn from you and your experiences?
I hope to impart the value of self-efficacy especially to the young women who come for a workout. After gaining experience in one skill that used to be unfamiliar or difficult, such as completing a push-up, squat or maybe even a pullup, that confidence can spread to other areas of life. I continue to struggle with self-esteem and I wish to empower each young woman to find their own confidence and maintain that so they will not hesitate to try new things throughout the course of their lives.
3. Why do you think Bench Mark is so important to the Lancaster community?
Bench Mark is valuable for many reasons, one being the physical safe haven or escape that it provides to so many students and mentors. I have heard comments from students who were going through an especially difficult time in their home or school life, but I would have never suspected it because of how relaxed and comfortable they were when they came to the gym. Bench Mark serves multiple purposes, including a space to workout frustrations and learn new weightlifting techniques, catch up on homework, write resumes and fill out job applications, as well as a place to receive advice or find a listening ear when a workout just isn't enough. To have a reliable place that offers all of those crucial pieces for students is remarkable and should be treasured for what it offers to the students of Lancaster County.
Okay, now for some real thought-provoking questions…
1. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ice cream! Mint chocolate chip or anything chocolate for sure.
2. What is your spirit animal and why?
I love elephants for their calm nature combined with their overpowering strength that is only used when absolutely necessary. I don't know that I am like an elephant, but I have always loved their essence.
3. If you had to choose just one decade to listen to music from for the rest of your life what would it be?
This would be hard because I get tired of listening to the same music over and over but I think I would go with the 80s.
4. What is one goal you would like to accomplish in your lifetime?
Running a half marathon is on my bucket list and I recently signed up for one so we will see how that goes! I'd also love to learn how to surf, but that one may be much further down the road.