This has been a productive week. One group of mentees completed their Student Online Performer and this has immediately given mentors ideas as to the areas they can explore with their mentees. Many of the students are revealing a great deal of potential, yet their self-belief and self-image will need attention. This is nothing new for a teenager. The fact that they are a little low on self-esteem is one of the reasons they are in the program. What I enjoyed, though, was the positive vibe in the room while the students were completing these Student Performers in the company of their mentors.

A couple of students and their mentors have also embarked on the use of the email facility, which is also fantastic to see. One student has shared all sorts of ‘stuff’ already and has given the mentor a chance to start encouraging her, building her self-confidence and talking about different things they can do. Another student, only three weeks into the relationship, sent an email to his mentor informing the latter that he was sick and would not be at school for the mentoring session – very positive signs early in this new program. I would love to see more mentors and their students using the email facility like this.

In another program one of the students was chatting to me about some of the things she has been doing with her mentor, mostly exploring career options, work experiences etc. The student commented that GR8 MATES had got her thinking about stuff she would never have thought about. Instead of leaving school at the end of this year, which had been her original plan, she is staying on for a further two years and has all sorts of plans, whilst being more motivated as well.

One school, where the program finishes in late October, has asked if they can run another program next year. However, we will attempt to recruit and train the mentors before the end of the year, match them with the students before the year closes, so they can begin the mentoring journey as soon as schools open in 2009. Pressure now on to recruit the mentors, a major task for the week ahead 🙂