Have you ever had someone whom you looked up to sit down and spend time with you? Invest in you? Believe in you? Give you the courage to believe you could do more, be more, achieve more?
As a team we know that we wouldn’t be the people we are today if it wasn’t for people who did that for us. We are extremely thankful for those who have mentored us, listened to and prayed for us.
Growing up in an environment where addictions and poverty are common, many young people in inner city Dublin lack mentors: people to invest in them and give them responsibility don’t feature strongly in many of their lives. It is unsurprising that many feel trapped in a cycle of hopelessness, of repeating the patterns of those who have gone before them.
But imagine a different future. A future where young people, no matter what part of the city they are born in and grow up in, have older, wiser guides. Positive role models who are for them, who will encourage them, who are committed to them becoming all they were created to be. Imagine a future where young people from the inner city are known, not for the limitations they face, but for their resilience and creativity and making positive contributions not just to their peers and community but also to the city, to culture and to Ireland as a whole.
As we’ve delivered our 10 week RISE leadership programme and community project in schools and youth groups we’ve been encouraged by young leaders like Conor. He recognised that cleaning up the community wasn’t enough, instead people needed to respect each other and their community more.
But a 10 week leadership programme for 40-60 minutes a week with 25 teenagers can only achieve so much. We want to see more. Much more. Lasting change requires deeper relationships. For that reason we are adding a mentoring programme, to give young people the positive role models that they need to increase their engagement at school and be positive influences among their peers.
This autumn, in partnership with a north inner city youth project, we want to pilot one-to-one mentoring with a group of teenagers who have taken part in the RISE leadership programme.
As we look back we are amazed, thankful and humbled that, thanks to the generosity of our supporters 200 teenagers have carried out community projects in 15 locations over the past 18 months through RISE.
Providing mentoring for one young person will cost €540. That’s €45 a month over a year, so that young people in inner city Dublin can experience the benefits of mentoring that many of us have enjoyed. To give regularly or to give a one-off gift click here.