International Women’s Day presents a perfect opportunity to showcase one of the the incredible teenagers we have the opportunity of working with.. Ashleigh writes: It has been an exciting journey walking along side Rebecca, an 18 year old from Ballyfermot (a challenging area of Dublin, where 29% adults haven’t completed any education past primary school). Rebecca is the first participant in our new RISE mentoring programme. “! really want to learn new skills and build my experiences with teenagers so I can become a youth worker” (Rebecca, 18) Rebecca is committed to influencing teenagers and passing on the experiences she’s had from years of being invested in by others. I first met Rebecca about eighteen months ago when she starting coming to church, and I got to know her better when she became a regular attendee at the youth group I lead. Her enthusiasm, maturity, and desire to grow was apparent, and as I got to know her it was clear that she had exciting dreams and plans for her future. Part of these plans are to become a youth worker. Having spent many years involved with various youth projects as a volunteer as well as a member, Rebecca is already well equipped to begin this journey. “It is widely accepted that youth, especially those perceived to be at risk, benefit significantly by having a mentor in their lives” (Mentoring: An investment in Positive Youth Outcomes) Doing life with people and having someone support and walk beside you is something I treasured as a teenager as I navigated my way through the maze of life. To be able to reverse the roles and support teenagers navigate this same path is a real privilege, especially when it comes to mentoring someone like Rebecca. We started our mentoring journey with the goal of Rebecca becoming a RISE volunteer and being part of our schools program. During this time we have also been able to chat through other aspects of what it is like to move through different phases of life, and also practically of getting Rebecca into courses as part of her steps towards youth work. Rebecca’s journey of faith has also been exciting to see. Just a couple of months ago at a youth event Rebecca made a step of faith in becoming a Christian – to be there to witness that was amazing for me. Mentoring can make a huge difference in the lives of teenagers regardless of where they are in their journey. We want to see more young people like Rebecca experience lasting hope and equipped to give back to their community. Over the next few months we’re excited to be partnering with Mount Carmel Secondary School to provide mentoring for some of their transition year girls, investing in even more talented young female leaders. Just 10 new people giving €45 a month would enable us to commit to mentoring more young people like Rebecca and enabling them to be sources of hope in their communities. To give click here.