What have been the most rewarding aspects of working with young people and volunteering with ReachOut? Seeing the girls grow and develop into better versions of themselves. Often the results of the girls’ attendance to ReachOut are not immediate, yet by the end of the year everyone can see how much their mentee and the group have developed. Another rewarding aspect of ReachOut is the excitement felt by the girls. Each week they practically run into the classroom, eager to share their day at school or weekend plans.

Is there anything you found challenging/difficult in your mentoring role? The most challenging aspect of ReachOut was in the first year that I volunteered, when I was at a school in Hackney which didn’t have enough volunteers. We had 10 girls, all fairly boisterous, and not enough mentors. Which meant that we had to adapt the sessions and each have around 3 mentees. Although it was challenging to manage behaviour and to give each girl enough attention, it was still rewarding, and also a good challenge which developed my own skills to manage challenging behaviour and to be resourceful. It also happened to be on a Friday afternoon, which often meant I would doze on the bus on my way back to University, fairly exhausted after a full-on couple of hours with Hackney girls!

Do you think that volunteering with us will help you in your job search? Has it influenced your career aspirations? Already I have seen how volunteering with ReachOut will help my job search, as it has boosted my CV and given me something different to discuss in interviews. It was quite funny as during one interview it was all but halted so that the interviewer could ask further questions about ReachOut and the work they do! I got that position, and would like to think that my consistent dedication to volunteering for ReachOut and passion for the work ReachOut does and the results it gains, showed through and helped my application. With regards to career aspirations, volunteering with ReachOut has definitely shown me the possibilities within the non-profit sector, and working with the development of the younger generations in mind is definitely something I will look into going into. 

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