Dr. Eleanor Walsh, BITCI reflects on what inspires volunteers to take part in the Student Mentoring programme. This programme has expanded in Limerick, thanks to basis.point funding and companies supporting their local community in this meaningful way.
Thanks X Factor! When we go to talk to students these days about having a mentor there is very little additional explanation needed – since the advent of X factor they all know what it involves. The only down side is that our business volunteer mentors are under pressure (a small bit!) to be the next Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne or Cheryl! But this indeed is a task that they rise to, as they praise the students for their efforts at their school work, help them get organised and focused and introduce them to new people and places in an effort to help them reach their potential. Lucky students!
Currently in Limerick city, three out of the four DEIS schools run a mentoring programme, with the fourth school expected to launch mentoring in the new academic year. The companies involved are Limerick IT and Northern Trust. Limerick IT staff mentor students from their neighbourhood school, Thomond Community College and have now mentored for six years. This year, with assistance from basis.point, Northern Trust employees are mentoring students from the all-girls school Coláiste Nano Nagle and the all-boys school Coláiste Mhichil CBS, both on Sexton Street.
At a time when we as professionals look to summits like the Digital Web or Pendulum Summit for inspiration to be the best that we can be, it’s good to know that our students also have a summit like programme to participate in, like mentoring. The Pendulum web site says “We want those who are touched by Pendulum to learn that they have the potential to take their lives to the next level and create the legacy that they desire. Pendulum is the spark that will ignite the fire within you to maximise your potential in your chosen profession”. Replacing the word Pendulum by Mentoring is exactly what’s going on in Limerick and for our city kids. Quietly. Steadily.