Tag Archives: mentoring

“We need more mentors!”

A great problem to have! The uptake for our RISE mentoring at Mount Carmel Secondary School in Dublin tripled from 5 last year to 15 this year.

“I know how to set goals for myself that I can achieve.”

“Mentoring was amazing, motivating and fun!”

“I thought it was going to be boring, but it was fun, enjoyable and interesting.”

That 15 of the 36 girls who completed the RISE leadership programme before Christmas have asked for mentoring demonstrates their enthusiasm and commitment to their school and local community and to their own development. As mentors, we have an exciting opportunity to help guide and encourage these 16-year-olds to reach their goals which range from developing a comprehensive CV to finding a way to connect with their local community groups and build a strong social network.

We are grateful for the students from IBI (our office neighbours) who have volunteered to be mentors.

In the first session we help the students to focus on identifying a clear and specific goal they want to work towards and some of the steps that will help them get there. What we have noticed is that not only are they getting some guidance from us but we have seen a lot of additional help coming from the other mentees, their peers,  who often have fascinating insights into the challenges they are facing.

“I’ve learned that there are more opportunities available than I thought to reach my goal.”

“I learned that it is good to create steps to your goal to make it more realistic.”

“Planning things out is less stressful.”

It is a joy for us to see students begin this mentoring journey unsure of what will happen and already by the end of week 1 see them excited and more confident in what they want to achieve. One girl’s response to the end of the first session was that she, “learned how to plan and visualise realistic goals,” with many others commenting that they felt more confident as a result of participating in the mentoring session.

We look forward to seeing how these student’s journey’s progress over the weeks ahead!

 “Mentoring opened my mind to seek help with applying for courses.”

“I know where to ask now to get help with my goal.”


Mentor Me: A Leader’s Guide to Finding a Mentor

Photo credit: chase_elliott / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: chase_elliott / Foter / CC BY

God has given us many things to help us to grow as Christians. One of these is other believers. There are many pictures in the Bible of this mutual encouragement. One of my favourites is that of a body as Paul outlines to the church in Ephesus:

He makes the whole body grow and build itself up in love. Under the control of Christ, each part of the body does its work. It supports the other parts. In that way, the body is joined and held together. (Ephesians 4:16 NIRV)

There is real benefit in learning from people who have been Christians for longer and who are willing to help us to develop and to grow. You may have several people like that in your life who are a good example to you in what they say and in how they live out what they believe. In that sense they function as mentors to you.

In Christian circles the word ‘mentoring’ has come to be almost synonymous with discipling and carries with it the connotation of a relationship between two people with the specific goal of spiritual growth and maturity. In most cases, the process begins with someone who seeks out a mentor who is already a role model and who can encourage and challenge them to grow in their spiritual journey.

In asking someone to be your mentor for a certain period of time you are making this process of learning from others into a more formal arrangement. You are committing yourself to meet with and learn from that person. You are giving them permission to ask you about how you are growing and living life and in that way you are making yourself accountable to them.

Things to think about in choosing a mentor:

  • Start by praying, asking God to guide you as to whom you could ask.
  • Think of someone you respect and feel you can learn from, but not someone that you would not be able to be honest with. You are looking for someone who will encourage you in your relationship with God and with whom you can share your joys and your struggles.
  • It may be someone from your church, but that is not essential.
  • The person needs to be willing and able to give the time and energy that is necessary. Make sure they know that it is for an agreed period of time. You will also need to agree how often to meet and for how long. That establishes helpful boundaries for both of you.
  • Don’t be put off if the first person you ask says no. Not everyone will have the time and energy to allow them to be a mentor. Trust God to guide you through the response of others

Quotes from IBI students who had a mentor as part of our Ministry and Personal Development module:

“My mentor’s maturity wisdom and life experience were invaluable to me as she continued to support and guide me along my journey (in IBI). She had great insight and practical advice; she really helped me to stay focused and keep things in perspective”.

“I found the mentor relationship to be very beneficial; having someone ‘keeping an eye on me’ was helpful to keep me focused.”

“The mentor relationship was a brilliant time to sit and get godly advice on the things I was struggling with. Also to have someone praying for me was great”

“The mentoring relationship encouraged me in my Christian walk”.

Guest writer, Joan Singleton, is passionate about how each of us can help each other to grow and develop more than we realise. Currently she is teaching Pastoral Caring in IBI and coordinating the Ministry and Personal Development course for first years. 

On International Women’s Day – Investing in the Next Generation of Female leaders

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. rebI 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.

Mentoring Inner City Teenagers

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.

Once more into the mud!

1958174_10153343428285639_2281106369811046402_nOn Saturday a team of 12 volunteers will be tackling the mud and obstacles of Runamuck in County Kildare.

We’re hoping to raise €1000 towards our pilot RISE mentoring programme with young people in the inner city.

You can support our fundraisers by giving via sponsor.ie:


Step Into Autumn

The lovely summer is coming to an end, school is back in session and we are moving into the new season with our Step Into Autumn fundraiser.

We have the perfect opportunity for you to spruce up your wardrobe and step into autumn with our thrift shop bargains. We are holding an exciting fundraiser from 11am-4pm on September 27th in St. Catherine’s Church, Thomas St, D8.

We will have lots on offer including live music, reflexology, afternoon tea, and a thrift store (check out our Facebook event here).

Step Into Autumn

What are we raising money for?

Over the last year and a half, we have been implementing our RISE leadership programme with teenagers across Dublin. We are now dreaming of and developing a mentoring programme to dig deeper with these teenagers. Money raised at Step Into Autumn will help fund this mentoring programme. Every euro raised will go toward equipping and encouraging Dublin teenagers to be sources of hope in their community. We want to see them grow into leaders of change for those around them BUT we need YOUR help to make it happen!

We hope to see you Saturday at St. Catherine’s Church!