What it's really like having a mentor - Amin's story
As part of Youth Mentoring Week (23 - 29 October), we'll be sharing stories from our mentors and hear what it's like from a young person's perspective.
We sat down with Amin, a young man from the Ladder program, to find out what it's really like being mentored.
- How long have you known your mentor for?
Not sure – we’re good friends now so it’s hard to tell. It could’ve been forever!
- What did you first think when you heard about mentoring?
I was sceptical about it and not too sure. I already knew what I was doing and wasn’t sure what a mentor would do for me. The Ladder program manager asked me to give it a try, as he thought I’d click with Andrew. I thought ‘I’ll just see what happens’.
- What was it like when you first met your mentor and how is that different to now?
As soon as we met, I thought it would work because it wasn’t unnatural at all. We had an instant and natural connection. We know each other better now, but it was easy straight away.
- What do you like about your mentor?
He’s cool, a fun guy. We connect on certain things. We get each other’s sense of humour and find each other funny. We just have a natural connection. I would say we have a “bro-ship”, with a special handshake that we do and everything!
- What do you do together (activities, talk etc)?
At the moment, we’re doing a lot of driving lessons together as I am trying to get my hours up for my Ps. But we chat while we’re driving. I don’t think about ‘what am I getting out of this?’. I’m just enjoying myself!
- What are the good things about having a mentor?
Friendship. Andrew’s already got a career, connections and been through a lot of stuff already. If you’re not sure how to go about something, a mentor can really help you out. [They're] like a friend. Someone who gives it to you straight.
- What’s hard about having a mentor?
Nothing is hard about it for me. Like I said, we had a natural connection. The first time we met, we went for a walk and shared personal things straight away with each other.
- How has your mentor helped you achieve your goals?
It’s been great to get my driving hours up. Andrew will have contributed a great amount to that achievement, once I get my Ps.
He’s consistent. I consider him a friend. He’s there and provides a really positive energy. He cares about me and supports me to do things I wouldn’t otherwise do if not for his friendship.
- What have you taught your mentor?
General random stuff. A bit about languages and different cultures as this is an interest of mine that I’ve shared. We’ve shared our dreams of travelling, the places we want to go, things we want to see. I taught him skateboarding, on my long board. I can go on a bit when I am passionate about something, so I talked a lot about how to do it and special tricks you can do. Andrew was actually pretty good!
- What’s your favourite memory or story about your time with your mentor?
One time we were going to go for a 3 hour drive but then the car wouldn’t start. It turned out the starter motor had died. We didn’t get to do the drive but we had a great time hanging out, waiting for the RAA and then the tow truck just chatting, joking, and doing different accents. We went and had lunch and it was really fun just hanging out.
- What would you say to other young people who are considering getting a mentor?
Depends on your character. If you don’t want to be that open with others it might be easier to have a more formal mentor relationship.
If it’s a friendship like what I have with Andrew, it’s much better. You’ve got to be open minded, be open to a new type of friend, someone who’s already been through certain stages that you’ve not. You could get a lot out of it if you think of them as friend in this way.
People have to earn my respect. I have respect for Andrew because he has a really positive energy. My friendship with him is pretty unique – it’s relaxed and I just have fun hanging out. I don’t have that same friendship with anyone else.
To find out more about Ladder's mentoring program, click here.Back…