Student testimonials, 5th European Mentoring Summit, Paris, 2024

On the 25th of May, ten students from Mentoring Europe and Mentoring Friesland attended the 5th European Mentoring Summit in Paris. Beyond being passive attendees, they actively volunteered, discovering that the essence of mentoring lies in quiet connections rather than grand gestures. Immersed in diverse voices and experiences, they shared their own stories, realising the power of vulnerability to inspire others. Ultimately, it symbolised the beginning of a lifelong commitment to fostering connections and making a positive impact through mentoring, one meaningful interaction at a time.


I’m thrilled to share my journey with mentoring. Growing up, I found it challenging to navigate decisions about my future, especially when it came to further education or entering the workforce. While my parents offered advice, I craved unbiased guidance. It wasn’t until I joined the mentorprogramme that I realized the power of having a mentor. Witnessing the transformation in other mentees inspired me to seek guidance myself. Although opening up during mentorship conversations has been a hurdle, I’m determined to learn and grow. I hope the exchange of experiences during this summit encourages me to embrace the mentorship journey wholeheartedly. 


Hello, I’m Joost, a social work student secondary vocational education. Being a mentee had a big impact on me, providing a valuable opportunity for professional growth within my field. Many young people miss what we call “confrontation with the real world,” something I also lacked before joining the mentoring program. We refer to it as “a little push in the back.” With all these experiences as mentee I became a student mentor. To give others a little push into the right direction. As a mentee and mentor, i developed a special set of tools. now is the time to give back and give others a little push into the right direction.

Nynke Dijkstra

What does mentoring mean to me? To me, mentoring means a person who shares knowledge and experience and provides guidance. I have a mentor who I can talk to. For hours. How did that happen? We share the same interests in life and work. For me our relationship is a bond of trust. She motivates, inspires and guides me in taking steps in the right direction. Like, how to start at university. I met her at a network event of our mentoring program, we talked, laughed and exchanged numbers. I matched myself to her. So, to me, mentoring goed beyond transferring knowledge and experience. It feels natural. She understands me, it feels like family to me. This is the key to strong mentoring. A feeling of belonging and understanding.


Hi! I am Milota, an international student from Slovakia I consider myself a natural mentor. Since childhood, it has been my passion to help people I care about achieve their goals and actually bring something positive into this world. I’d say it started when I was 6 and taught my friend how to swim. I still remember her excitement and happiness when she realized she could swim by herself. Seeing my friend happy, gave me this unexplainable feeling. You do it once, and then you want to do it again and again. Moving on with my life, I tried to be there for everyone all the time, listen, advise and advocate for them in any kind of situation. Doing this gave me motivation and strength. One of my main life goals is to contribute positively to this world, which I think is a goal of many young people. So, give us more mentoring opportunities and more mentoring programmes, which we can participate in as young mentors.


My name is Quynh and I come from Vietnam. I am a university student in the Netherlands. Before I came to Europe, I didn’t know about and I was never exposed to the term “mentoring’’ in any aspects of my life. Then I started studying in the Netherlands, and mentors helped me a lot with my school issues and other matters in my life. That was my first time that I exposed to mentoring. I feel happy and worthy that I was not afraid to try new things, to learn, to experience and to develop. I desire to use this journey and experience to bring mentoring to my home country Vietnam, to more people, and help them so that mentoring will be known, more popular, and have significant impacts in Vietnam.


In my opinion, every single person has something to offer to society. Every person is gifted, with special talents. But not every person know thier talents. For me, mentoring is a push in the right direction to find out, and develop talents. So mentoring could be a key element in a persons life! As a student matchmaker for university and vocational school students, I have expierenced this every day. I learnt that mentoring is not only for young people with problems, but also for young people with ambitions. To apply for a mentor is courage, as i see. So when young ambitious people do that, they are an example to others. My goal is to spread the word about mentoring, so all young people find their way to mentors.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *