Last Wednesday was the Mahdlo Mentoring Project’s ninth birthday celebration. It was also the last time I met with Chloe, the young person I’d been mentoring for the last 15 months.
Your support means that 220 young people have been matched with a mentor over the last nine years, including 32 young people this year alone, with another 29 referred to us and on the waiting list! Along with all the celebrations, karaoke, party games and conversations last night, I started to think back about my mentoring journey.
Back in March, 525,600 minutes (that’s a whole year!) after my first meeting with Chloe, I had this to say…
Today marks the day, exactly 12 months ago, when I met the Chloe, who I would share the most incredible journey with!
It’s not been without its ups and downs, moments when we both questioned if we were on the right path or even right for each other, but I’m so glad we persevered. We have so much in common; music, our dogs and, in particular, a love of food. Whatever we’re talking about, be it college or home life, we always end up talking about food.
When I met her, she was having a tough time at school; she struggled with managing her emotions and just wanted someone to talk to.
Now she has a job which she loves and is thriving in, giving her independence and opportunities to have ‘me time’. She has re-enrolled at college and we’re working towards her English and Maths Level 2, exploring different countries that she wants to visit, and will be working together to pass her driving theory test. I’m so proud of her and her achievements!
Since March, she’s not needed me as much and we knew the time was approaching for us to end this relationship.
We’d spoken about it a few times, and she hadn’t seemed too keen, but deep down we knew things had to come an end and the right thing to do.
Reflecting on our journey together we looked at all the milestones she’d reached and how much she has changed as a person in the last 15 months.
Last night was bittersweet, it was time for celebration of the mentoring project, but for us, there was a tinge of sadness that our time together was over.
She is in a really good place, a job that she’s enjoying that’s giving her extra hours, studying at college to fulfil her dream of becoming a children’s nurse. I’m sure she will get there, she’s determined to better herself all the time.
I’ll be there for Chloe by phone or text message over the next few months as we transition into our new routines.
I’m taking a few weeks off now, but I am ready to give more time and look forward to meeting the young person I will be matched with next.
The nerves will kick in again soon I’m sure.