On the 15th of November, interns from Mentoring Europe shared their testimonials at both segments of the advocacy event, delivering compelling speeches that encapsulate the essence of mentorship. In this blog post, we turn our attention to the testimonials shared by our students, offering a formal and insightful exploration of the impact of mentoring programs.
My name is Jaimy Jonathan Landman and work as a volunteer for a mentoring program. A very inclusive and diverse program. I think inclusivity is really important and I would like to share with you my opinion on this topic.
In my opinion inclusivity and diversity contradict each other quite a bit. The goal, and also my dream, is that our whole society is inclusive. But to call yourself an inclusive society you must first divide your target group into different groups by considering their different backgrounds, sexual preferences, mental or physical disabilities. This in turn eventually manifests itself into a division, even though we claim that we are an involved and caring society. So what is the solution? In my experience without bullying, racism or sexism the concept of inclusivity wouldn’t even exist, so a bullying policy could be a solution. Or maybe we should help each other develop a real understanding for each other’s worlds without judgment. What if we implement a rule that organizations need to actively contribute to organizing involvement days? What am I trying to get to? It’s not about including diverse people, it’s about being involved, caring about each other and having no judgment.
So when are you inclusive? You are inclusive if you’re able to give everyone the same chances, the same experiences and the summer same opportunities.
To be honest my whole life I have never really heard the word mentoring nor did I know what the word meant. When I first started my internship at mentoring Europe I was so confused on what the whole fuss about mentoring was until I spent more and more time learning about it. And during that time I started to notice how many mentors I’ve actually had throughout my whole life and without them I wouldn’t have been able to become what I am now. I believe that mentoring is important because it’s something that pushes people forward and gives them strength to unleash their full potential.
That’s also why I think that making mentoring more available/accessible for young people especially, it would help them be more confident and would allow them to navigate both their personal and professional life.
In Europe, there are many international students in universities and I am one of them. Hello everyone, my name is Minh Anh and I’m from Vietnam. Three years ago, as an international student far from home, I was stressed and struggling to adapt to a new environment. Luckily, I met a fantastic Dutch friend who became my guide and mentor-like figure. She helped me understand the local way of life and culture.
Thanks to her support, I overcame challenges, gained confidence, and succeeded in my studies. Mentorship completely changed my life, making me a better version of myself. I believe mentoring is not only a personal experience for me but also a source of encouragement and potential strength for all of us.
Throughout my life, various mentoring relationships have provided me with essential guidance, support, and invaluable connections which fuels my personal and professional growth and it can be the gateway to enhanced learning and empowerment for millions others.
Steve Jobs once said “You cannot connect the dots looking forward: you can only connect them looking backward.”
Now I can connect my story.
When I was 18 I applied for a literature degree having only read Don Quijote. Guess what: I quit, it didn’t interest me enough. Then I started an online degree in audiovisual communication but again, I wasnt motivated either. So I had to get a job. I worked in a summer camp, first only for the money but then I realized that I enjoyed being a role model for children. This is why I’m studying early childhood education at Educem in Barcelona, a vocation school that also offered me the opportunity to engage in projects like Giggin Policy and Mentoring Europe.
I felt lost for a long time because I didn’t have any professional orientation, but I was lucky enough to have the support of my elder sister who helped and showed me other options.
That’s why I believe in the importance of promoting projects like this, for all the young people that may feel lost too.
My name is Gosse, I am a student from the Netherlands. When I first met my mentor he asked me what I was struggling with, and I did have a few things. But as the conversations continued I discovered that my problem was not actually the things I was worried about. But rather I was struggling with worrying itself. Because of this discovery I have been able to work on an issue that for years I neither knew existed nor how to work on it. That’s what is special about mentoring to me, not that it solves your problems, but that it tells you where to find them and can put you on the path to solving them.
I’ve had several natural mentors during my life.
It has helped me more than I can explain.
Mentoring has made me more confident and made me believe in myself.
It has brought out sides of myself that I didn’t know were there.
I’ve gotten help in times that I needed it the most.
I became stronger.
I want other people to have the same experiences as I’ve had due to mentoring.
Hello, I’m Joost, a social work student secondary vocational education.
And I am currently a student mentor at MentorProgramma Friesland.
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.
My name is Hannah, originally from Kenya, and I’ve been living in the Netherlands for two and a half years. I’m currently a social work student and an intern at MPF.
When I arrived in the Netherlands, I faced various challenges since I had to start a completely new life from scratch. However, these challenges transformed into new, positive experiences. I owe my progress to mentorship.
My mentor has positively impacted my life by helping me identify my strengths and weaknesses, encouraging to Pursue a career among others. I’m empowered to navigate with confidence and clarity.
To me Mentorship is a commendable initiative that not only empowers young people and newcomers to overcome challenges, but it extends to society as a whole. I can attest to that.
I respectfully urge the European government to support and recognize this transformative initiative and make it more accessible and impactful for everyone’s growth in Europe.
Thank you for your time.