Last week I began training to become a mentor for an ‘at risk‘ young person. I have been looking to do mentoring for a while and have searched around for the different options in Melbourne. I decided I would prefer to give my time to an ‘at risk’ young person rather than doing professional mentoring (ie mentoring a newbie working in PR) because these kids really do need a dependable adult in their lives, something many of us take for granted.
MacKillop Family Services and their Bayside Youth Mentoring Program appealed to me for a number of reasons, mainly for its community focus. I enquired and spoke with the very helpful, very friendly and very appreciative organisers who when through the commitment of becoming a mentor and what it means to the young people. We also went through the process of training and being matched (hopefully) with a young person should we still wish to go ahead with the program.
Last night I completed week two of the four week training program that is set for three hours for one night a week. So far we’ve learned about our role as a mentor for the young person and skills we need to be the best we can be for them. There are about 12 or so in the group of mentors-in-training, all from very different backgrounds doing this for our own reasons and bringing fresh perspective and experience to the group who has become fairly close quickly.
I admit I am a little nervous and hope I can be the best I can be and live up to the expectations of my mentee. Bayside Youth Mentoring Services are running a new training program at the moment (now when I say program, it is with the least clinical association possible but with the most heart-while-still-being-professional a ‘program’ can have!) and they’re thinking about bringing in the young people for our last night for a group mentoring session. They’ll be able to see us in action and, more importantly, whether there is any rapport between us and the young people.
I’m happy to be able to give something back to the community and hope I can make some kind of a difference for my mentee, even just a tiny one. I just hope I don’t get more out of this than they do…