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Understanding the Role of a Youth Mentor: A Guide for Young People

Stories   |   April 5th, 2024

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Let's explore youth mentoring and discover how it can rock your world! 

Imagine having someone that's there, just for you, every week without fail. Someone to talk with, laugh with, have fun with, and do cool stuff together.  That's what having an Upside mentor is all about!

If you're a young person and you've been assigned a mentor, it means that someone sees you and your incredible potential and wants to help you unleash it! How cool is that?

Life can be a bit like a rollercoaster.  Some days are up, some days are down. But here's the thing... when you've got an extra someone believing in you, life feels a little brighter and a little better each day.

This guide is here to show you the power of having a mentor in your life and why understanding their role is a game-changer. Because when you have a mentor, you have someone who believes in you, empowers you, and helps you level up in life.

Are you wanting to unlock the magic of mentoring? Lessgooo!

What is a Youth Mentor?

  • Alright, first things first: a youth mentor is someone who's got your back.  Upside mentors are awesome volunteers, who encourage, guide and listen to you - like an older auntie or uncle.  They're pretty fun too! 
  • They're the kind of person who can show patience and understanding, and genuinely care about you.
  • A good mentor wants to see you succeed, grow, and become the legend you were born to be.

Why Do We Need Youth Mentors?

  • Life can sometimes throw us curveballs, right? At your age, you might face challenges like figuring out who you are, dealing with peer pressure, or navigating friendships. It can be overwhelming, but fear not, because mentors are here to help!
  • Mentors are like game-changing gurus, ready to guide, support, and cheer you on. When you face tough situations or feel lost, they're there to provide a friendly ear, and maybe even some advice or wisdom.
  • Oh, and let me tell you something incredible: mentoring can change lives! For real! We know lots of young people who have overcome obstacles, discovered their true passions, and achieved greatness, all because they had an inspiring mentor by their side. It's like finding a special key that unlocks a world of possibilities!

How often would you hang out with your mentor?

  • Once a week, for a couple of hours, outside of school (the day and time can vary each week).  The mentoring journey is one year.
  • During the year there are events, organised by Upside that you'll get invited to attend with your mentor as well, like rock climbing, or trampolining.
  • We also have an annual camp we'd love you to come along to, which is a whole lot of fun where you can meet new kids who are also on the Upside programme. 

What kind of things would you do with your mentor?

  • Things you both enjoy! Maybe walking on the beach, baking, movies, kicking a ball, walking the dog, arts and crafts or jammin' some video games.  What are you into?

What Does a Youth Mentor Do?

  • Picture your mentor as your personal cheerleader and wise advisor, all rolled into one. They actively listen to you, creating a safe space for your thoughts and ideas. No judgement, just cool vibes and open ears.
  • They'll share their experiences, offer guidance, and help you set goals.
  • Need a little boost in developing skills? Your mentor's got your back, honing your abilities and showing you how to conquer any challenge life throws at you.
  • But wait, there's more! A mentor also believes in you, becoming the ultimate role model and source of inspiration. They'll show you what it means to be kind, courageous, and true to yourself. Talk about a powerful ally!

How to Find a Youth Mentor?

Upside partners with many schools in Auckland, chat with your school to check if they're already a referral partner.
  • Ask your school if they work with Upside Youth Mentoring.  If they don't ask them to get in touch and enquire about joining our community.
  • Some of the schools Upside currently works with are: Panama Road School, Glevanon School, Waikowhai Intermediate
  • Upside partners with a number of other organisations outside the Auckland Region. Get in touch if you'd like to know if there's a Upside partner in your area!

Remember, finding the right mentor can be the start of a life-changing experience.