I have been a mentor since December 2013 and in that time I have been paired with two teenage boys. Both were feeling a bit disillusioned with life in general, with one beginning to exhibit at-risk behaviours such as underage alcohol use.
In both relationships I met regularly with my mentees on a one-to-one basis, going on a variety of activities such as attending McManus Galleries, ice-skating and go-karting. At times, our activities involved just meeting for a bite to eat and a blether, all which the mentees seemed to enjoy.
Although there were nerves at the start of the relationships on both sides, before long they were gone, replaced by a bond. During the two years I have been a mentor I have had so much fun, learned a lot, and feel a great sense of pride knowing that I have made a difference, although just a wee one, in the lives of my mentees.
Being able to assist my mentees in achieving their goals has been extremely rewarding and on a personal level, mentoring has helped me to develop certain skills and assisted in practically applying learning from university.
My second spell as a mentor comes to an end this December and I will look at the past two years fondly. Mentoring is such a great scheme; I would recommend it wholeheartedly!