Tag Archives: Teenagers

“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.”


Running for RISE

runamuck 2015 promo

In just a few weeks, a dozen of us will be running through mud and obstacles in Runamuck to help raise support for our RISE Leadership and Mentoring Programme.

Our RISE Leadership Programme began 4 years ago after seeing and hearing the hopelessness in Dublin teenagers’ lives. They voiced a lack of positive thinking about their communities, their feelings that nothing would ever change, and their trouble dreaming of a better future. RISE’s vision is to help equip young teens to become sources of hope in their communities. Hope for a future that is better than what exists now. 2013-11-23 15.24.26Hope for not only their own futures but also, hope for those around them who they go to school with, live with, and call their neighbours.

IMG_4817The programme challenges the young people to think about what it means to be a leader, what qualities make up a good leader, and if they themselves have some of these qualities. The programme then stretches them to look at their community, what they like and do not like about it. They then pick a community initiative to implement positive change. We have seen teenage boys make an anti-bullying video, transition year girls collect bags and bags of clothes for the homeless, a youth group wanting to better encourage those younger than them, and many many more amazingly inspiring projects.

DSCN0584We have facilitated our RISE Leadership
Programme in James Street CBS, a Ballymun youth group, Mount Carmel Secondary School, Mercy Secondary School, St. Catherine’s Church youth group, Ozanam House youth club, and Newpark Comprehensive School. We piloted the RISE Mentoring Programme this past spring in Mount Carmel Secondary School which went very well with great feedback from the mentees and mentors. We are excited to see how RISE continues to grow.

To see it grow, watch this space for more information or email Anne at anne.baenziger@innovista.org with any questions.

Help it grow by GIVING HERE. ~

Will you join us in the mud at Runamuck 2015?

On 17 October 12 (so far but we’re looking for more!) intrepid adventurers will be tackling the 5km or 10km of mud and obstacles that is Runamuck in County Kildare. Will you join us?

With around 4000 people taking part Runamuck is great fun and also a great opportunity to raise funds for our RISE programme – providing mentoring and leadership training to teenagers in inner city Dublin.

All we ask is that you commit to raise at least €50 and pay your entrance fee (around €25-€30). If you raise over €120 we’ll refund your entrance fee.

We are aiming to raise €1000. Will you join us by taking on the challenge?

The early booking discount ends on 31 August so if you are interested contact ireland@innovista.org before then!

2014-10-18 13.30.49

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.

Teenagers helping the homeless this Christmas

When I walked into Mt. Carmel Secondary School, to lead my first RISE Leadership Programme, 25 transition year girls stared back at me. We had never met before but we were about to spend the next 10 Friday afternoons together exploring leadership and what positive change might look like in their community.

teenagers collecting for the homelessThe girls were chatty, full of energy and enthusiastic. As we worked through leadership, vision, teamwork, and encouragement the girls identified a need in their inner city Dublin community to bring positive change to. They felt passionate about helping the homeless especially during this cold Christmas season. The girls spent time making dozens of posters to spread the word around school about their 2 week long collection of clothing and food for the homeless. They decided to donate the items to Simon Community, a local charity which assists the homeless.

Our RISE Leadership Programme pushes teens to think outside of the box and beyond theory to the practical. We help teenagers identify characteristics of good leaders while also creating avenues for them to use what they have learnt. From early on, Hollie one of the students, stuck out as a prominent leader within the class. She spoke confidently when answering questions, encouraged her fellow classmates to work hard and helped drive the community initiative forward. She enjoyed:

“learning about how to achieve your goals, and landmarks, and obstacles that you will have to pass to get to the goal.”

Homeless project planRISE also explores vision and how to cast a compelling vision through enabling teenagers to imagine a better future for their own community, then and there. Chantel grasped this idea well when she explained why they decided to the project they did. She said they wanted to help the homeless, “because not a lot of people help the homeless.” Another student said, “because we want them to feel like other people care about them.” The class collected nearly a dozen bags full of clothing and several items of non-perishable food. According to Simon Community, there are now over 1,400 people in temporary emergency accommodation nightly across the greater Dublin region. They serve over 3,000 people who are homeless or at risk each year. Over 100,000 meals are served and 28,000 hot drinks and sandwiches are distributed.

This Christmas 25 teenage girls at Mt. Carmel, are helping to bring hope and positive change to some of the most vulnerable in Dublin.

*Simon Community stats: http://www.dubsimon.ie/Homelessness/HowweHelp.aspx

**Our vision for RISE is to see inner city communities in Dublin flourish through the positive contribution of young people. RISE is focused on the north inner city and Dublin 8, working with teenagers growing up in areas facing socio-economic and educational disadvantage. To give to support our work with teenagers through RISE please 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.

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!