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What is a Mentor?

Hello! My name is Felix and I’m a youth mentor at Pride Lands.

I’ve been a member of the Pride team for almost a year now. My mentoring has always been relatively flexible so that I can find a healthy balance for my studies at Victoria University, where I study commerce and psychology.

Throughout my journey thus far, I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring five extraordinary kids. I hope they will all remember me as much as I will remember them!

Firstly, what is a mentor? In short, a mentor is whatever a young person needs us to be. In my opinion, a mentor is neither a friend nor a parent, yet a little bit of both. Mentors often act as moral guides for a young person. We distinguish between what kind of behaviour or thought processes are right and wrong, and what is an acceptable and unacceptable way of navigating the world.

Top tip: In order to teach a young person important values, such as confidence and respect, I find it overwhelmingly important to build rapport first. Rapport creates an understanding between two individuals – a connection, a bond. Without a bond, communication can become disrupted and young persons may have a difficult time listening to advice that mentors have to offer.

However I can’t take all the credit. When a young person (often troubled) enters the Pride Lands community, they are met with similar bonding experiences that come from being a part of a family. Sometimes this is all a child needs. It can offer a fresh start or a new way of being.

I can confidently say that I have gained many important personal attributes throughout my time at Pride Lands, a few in particular include: a strong sense of leadership, ability to problem solve and adapt, proficiency in communicating and working in a team. For that I am grateful.”