Back in 2019, M10 had released its second Boys’ Network live programme at Cardinal Hume RC, a strong comprehensive in the heart of Gateshead.
Twelve students were selected to be part of the programme and 12 mentors from different industries ranging from construction to police, and fire safety to financial services. Students were matched according to hobbies and interests and the connection between mentor and mentee worked very well. With the use of games, activities and discussion, students responded well to the mentoring programme.
Ethan & Terry's Story
One of the groupings was Ethan & Terry. Ethan was a bright student of black origin, born in France and the youngest of 5 siblings, living in Low Fell. He is now studying Civil Engineering but back then he didn’t know what he wanted to do. Terry, an insurance consultant who had been in the business of risk for over 40 years and now running his own company called Alpha Risk. They couldn’t have been more different and yet, they got on really well together.
Ethan remembered his first conversation with Terry...
“I remember I was in Year 10 starting my GCSE’s and we were talking about soft skills, and Time Management was definitely a good topic for me back then…and even to this day.” Ethan
Incorporating time management into our programme was not a challenging task.This subject often proves to be a source of stress and anxiety for numerous students. To address this issue, we implement The Covey Time Management Matrix as a valuable tool. It assists students to distinguish between urgent and important tasks. It's worth noting that many adults also grapple with this aspect, too.
4 Years On...
There is a uniqueness to this particular mentoring relationship in that the programme was designed to last just 10 months; the tag line being ‘One hour with one student, once a month for 10 months.’ However, we are in 2023 and the relationship between Ethan and Terry is as strong as ever.
Last week I met with them to find out just how that relationship has evolved and the video interview was filled with laughter and encouragement. I was barely needed, I felt like I was part of an already planned mentoring session. Terry quite naturally shared his insight on preparations for the world of work and Ethan soaked it up, sharing the positives of why he was glad to be part of the mentoring programme.
“Not only was this something to help me with whilst I was in school, it was something that helped me afterwards as well. When The Boys’ Network came to my school, I felt, this is a really good opportunity that I can’t pass by on.” Ethan
Before a student signs up for the programme, we share the vision with them and then deliver training so they can feel equipped and more confident to build rapport with their prospective mentor. Some students come with lots of confidence and some with very little. One of the key success indicators of The Boys Network is for boys to increase in confidence as well as growth in knowledge and understanding of the topics we address.
I was moved by the way they both spoke so encouragingly of each other with Terry sharing.
“There are so may young people who dismiss older people, thinking they were always old. Your openness and willingness to listen, to share and learn was a joy, I used to look forward to it [the sessions].” Terry
In response, Ethan said.
“It was inspiring getting to know Terry. Even with a generation gap it’s important to be open-minded and know this mentor has been young like me.” Ethan
Becoming A Mentor
If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Mentor for the Boys' Network like Terry, Click Here.