Well, I’m one month in, and what a month! I felt that I was really thrown in at the deep end with meetings that really showed the extent of why local teenagers need us, so much so that I asked Victoria if she had specially arranged for some of the most taxing meetings in my first month. Unfortunately she said;”No this is normal welcome to the world of Family Support!”
Is it time to re-think my career path?
A big NO as I have also had the chance to meet some of my mentoring team of Heroes (as I am now starting to call them). Listening to them, I realize what an amazing team of skilled dedicated professionals we have, people who are prepared to give up their valuable time to support these scared, troubled or angry teenagers, who have come to use for help.
I have also been present when we have introduced a mentor to one of these trouble youngsters, and seen the glint of hope in their eyes, that now at last, someone is on their side!
But most amazing were the times when I have reviewed progress of our heroes and their charges, after looking back to see their history’s. One example I can bring you is reading the file on the one lad who from the records seemed like a frightened rabbit when he came to us. So lacking in self confidence that he could not look anyone in the eyes. And how his stutter would so frustrate him, apart from staying quiet as much as possible, he took the frustration into his home life.
The person I met at the review was a real shock; A young lad who looked me straight in the eyes, shook my hand, and smiled a smile that would brighten the darkest corner. I saw how with careful coaching he could now articulate, for example, precisely the conclusions he had come to about his behavior, with barely a hint of his previous stutter. The only time he did appear to struggle with emotions and his stutter, was when he was trying to express his appreciation for what his mentor had done. Still some work to do, but what a transformation.
There have been some difficult moments in my first month, but there have also been times when I felt a compelling desire to become all American, jump up on my desk, punch the air and yell GO TEAM DOOR!!
Luckily I have managed to control myself……… so far!
Alistair A: Mentoring Team Leader
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