One of the challenges many adolescents have to deal with is fear ie, fear about making that phone call to the person they want to speak to about a possible work experience opportunity; fear because they might be rejected by an employer and so much more. Yesterday a mentor sat with her mentee as the latter confirmed her work experience opportunity. The mentee phoned the company and first had to deal with someone who knew nothing about this. The mentee was passed on to two other people before she finally got things sorted. She was so happy after completing this process and acknowledged that she had, indeed, overcome that fear and how much easier it was having her mentor there to encourage her. The mentee is also becoming highly motivated about the possibility of teaching as a career thanks to the work she and the mentor are doing together. Both the mentor and the mentee were bubbling with enthusiasm about their plans for the next few weeks.
In my last post I mentioned a mentor who felt she was battling with her mentee. Well, yesterday was a life-changing moment, I am sure. The mentee, who has been very much one of those ‘it’s too hard!’ youngsters, announced that he had organised his work experience since seeing his mentor last week; he personally went to sort out some other arrangements with the Careers Adviser yesterday with no help from his mentor and he shared some other information with his mentor about personal changes in his life. I think a young life is quietly crossing the bridge to great progress thanks to the persistence of his mentor believing in him.
And the young lad who is heading off to work experience next week is so pumped and ready to go and also told his mentor that he would like to stay in touch when the mentoring program officially ends in late June. His mentor also discovered quite by chance, as she was doing some work at her local church, that her mentee attends youth group there, something he had never mentioned. They chatted about that yesterday and had a good laugh! It is reassuring to know that the mentee is attending the youth group as he will be mixing with more positive role models.
Mentees are beginning to mutter that they don’t want the program to end and want to keep meeting with their mentors. I think we are in for an interesting couple of months.