Q. Why did you want to become a mentor?
A. I wanted to get involved with the programme to give young people a chance to explore different paths from an early age. I remember choosing our options at school without a clear picture of what paths or careers they may lead to. Having coached all ages to see progression in people is extremely rewarding. Watching these young people try and solve the biggest problems we have on the planet was as rewarding for me as it was for them.
Q. What do you think the kids got out of it?
A. Not only were the children educated in the world’s biggest environmental issues they also got to meet different mentors with different backgrounds.
Hearing the career paths of mentors gave them more knowledge to make their career choices and also understand the impact particular job roles will have on the environment and the people within it. Working in groups they also engaged brilliantly with each other enhancing teamwork, respect for each other and project management.
Q. Are there any particular sessions you remember well and why? I’m thinking about you engaging well through football with the kids who struggled academically and nicknamed you Paddy Power!!
A. It was a struggle at first when I found myself mentoring the group of lads in the back corner of the room. They didn’t know me; I was just a guest in the school and not a teacher. So, I knew it would be a challenge. I spent the first part of the morning session finding common ground with them and found out they all loved football. They were interested to know about who I supported, played for and worked with. In each task I used the footballing analogies to keep their concentration and interest which worked well.