As John C. Crosby once said: “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
The inaugural Career Mentoring Program at Cherrybrook Technology High School will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 25 with a formal presentation.
Each mentor and mentee will present a reflection of their mentoring experience in whichever form they choose based on their career aspirations.
The program is based on a model originally designed at Crestwood High School in partnership with Aussip, running successfully for a number of years.
Cherrybrook Technology High School careers advisor and mentoring program coordinator Melinda Bower said she was inspired to start the program at Cherrybrook because of the strong connections between the school and community.
“We wanted to utilise our alumni and community connections in a business sense to help our year 11 students look at what they want to do in the future,” she said.
Students were chosen from their year 10 vocational studies and on recommendation from head teachers who saw students with a strong career pathway.
Student and mentee Raquel Cuevas said she chose to be part of the program to try and broaden her knowledge of her chosen pathway.
“I knew the mentoring program would offer a first hand insight into what I could encounter in the workplace environment,” she said.
Students meet with their mentors once a month in the school library.
Gladsville senior constable and youth liaison officer Debbie Chrystal acted as a mentor in the inaugural program and was more than willing to assist in helping young people make choices in a career sense.
“It was refreshing to see from my perspective people so willing to listen and learn and discover what [being a police officer] really involves,” she said.
Mrs Bower hopes to run the program again next year, this time with more mentors allowing a larger portion of the year 11 cohort to be part of what she said is a “valuable experience”.
Constable Chrystal said she would definitely take part in the program again.
“For young people to get a sample as to what the job involves before committing to the career can turn out to be extremely beneficial,” she said.
The program involved six, one hour sessions once a month where students would communicate openly with their mentor about school, their career, their goals and the pair would work together on developing the mentee’s employability skills.
“I got to know my mentor really well and engaged in a fun but insightful relationship,” Raquel said.