About a year ago I was made aware by a friend of mine that a charity was looking for Mentors.
I had never been a Mentor before and was interested in learning more about what the charity was doing and how I could be of help. 2nd Chance (2ndchanceuk.org) is a charity that offers young people who haven´t had had the chance to study or succeed in life, and between the ages of 18 and 24 to get back up and start their career. The aim of the Mentoring was to help a young person succeed in the workplace but also keep their job. I was sold and couldn´t wait to start my journey.
I met with my mentee, a very interetsing young lady who was very different from me, at first I thought that it was a funny match as I am more of a reserved person, quiet, observing and my mentee was louder, extraverted and active. But I thought, ok if they have matched us it´s that there is a reason. So we met the first time within the premises of 2nd Chance and were provided; as Mentor; with a program, support sheet, to help us create a bond with our mentee.
After the offcial meet i scheduled another meet with my mentee, we went a bit back and forth with it, lack of time on her side, or maybe was it lack of interest? I didn´t know at the time. After a few back and forth we finally met and i decided to listen to what she had to say and just be there for her, what was she expecting from me, what did she need and what did she want to take out of the mentorship.
What came out was that she didn´t want a mentor, she didn´t want someone who would kind of control or make sure she does the right thing, actually she said she felt pushed to have a mentor. So I accepted her perspective and we started talking about her life, her and what her aspirations were and how she could achieve her goals.
After that session we met again and again and again, the moral of the story though is that she needed to be heard, she needed to get her private life sorted, have someone to hear her, give her advice, someone with positive outlooks, there for her when she needed and today I can say that I am extremely proud of what she has achieved. She has her life sorted, or at least what can be sorted out, she has a job since 6 months which she has kept and she is very inspiring !
She is very strong, and she has shown me resilience, shown me that if you want you can do it, she was flexible, she listened and most of all, she made it ! I hope she keeps being so positive and so good at what she does, she opened my eyes and taught me that when there is a will there is a way, and that even if you had a bad start in life, you can still make it when surrounded and supported by the right people !
I enjoyed the Mentoring so much that I signed up for another year and another mentee !
I would recommend this journey, if you are based in London, do check 2nd Chance out, you could make a difference and learn a lot about yourself but also learn from these young people.
I am very grateful to them.