I have been deeply committed to supporting children and young people ever since my own daughter was born and I realised just how vital it is to support children and families no matter who they are. I have volunteered, assisted, co-ordinated, advised and managed many many projects and programmes that have sought to support children and young people. I have been a heat seeking missile, looking for opportunities everywhere and anywhere to make a difference. Not until now have I came across a programme that does what it says on the tin –transform lives! I have found my mojo through this programme, my mentee is someone who keeps on taking me by surprise. Ever since I met her 7 months ago, she has kept me on my toes, inspires me, makes me laugh, takes me through her life in vivid colour and teaches me compassion, tolerance and how to survive her generation. She has even given me tips on fashion, music and parenting! Yes I am learning as much as my mentee. For me, I have the greatest privilege of being able to be let into her life, to share some of mine. We each have exciting, worrying, rewarding, amazing, fretful and frustrating dimensions to each of our lives that we use as a bridge to reach each other that helps her reach for the stars.
We are a team, there is nothing we don’t talk about and everything we explore. I am there for her no matter what – full stop. She makes my role easy by sharing her thoughts, desires and worries for the future, together we explore then, we tackle them and come up with the solutions. Takes time to build trust between you, but when you have it, you know it.
“Not until now have I came across a programme that transforms lives!”
My mentee is working out her path in life, her options include going into teaching and/or childcare. She is also a whizz at DIY. We have discussed importance of education and college options as well as housing options – big big decisions about what to study and where to live are discussed in detail and poured over and over again between us.
We have visited my workplace (housing) and she expressed an interest in our modern apprenticeship programme –this is now has an additional option for her. She will also be shadowing our paralegal team as she has always had an interest in legal aid work and she will be spending ‘a day in the life of a tradesperson’ in one of our partners organisations (City Building) to see if her DIY gifts could extend her career options.
I am the lucky one to have this role, in this programme, at this time, with this impressive young lady. Many more can do much more, let’s get on with it let’s not waste another day not supporting our young people.