Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Guest Blogger: Mentor Krista Duke "I love talking about what's really important right now"

 Written by Krista Duke

I’ve worn a couple different hats since my time at BBBSND. First, I was our Public Relations co-op student back in 2010, now a staff member as the Special Events Coordinator since 2013, an In-School Mentor back in 2013-2014 and a Go Girls Mentor for 2 different sessions in 2014 and 2015. Today, I’d like to talk about my wonderful experiences as a mentor for the Go-Girls Program. 

In the fall of 2014, I ran a Go Girls group-Mentoring Program at Greenbank Public School. Since this program is only 7, 1-hour long sessions, I knew that it wasn’t a huge time commitment, but that the impact could be huge. I loved this program so much because I got to talk to the girls about really important things like healthy eating, staying active, bullying, self-confidence, but also about really relevant issues that are going on today, like the power of what you post on social media, eating disorders, mental health, etc. I don't act like I'm an expert on any of these topics, but I simply share what I know, share any personal experiences (the girls love that) and tell true stories (the girls also love that).

 I feel so passionate about interacting with today’s youth because I get to listen what they think and then pass along my ‘wisdom’ and advice. In the spring of 2015, I mentored a group of girls who were in grade 8, getting ready for graduation, which was a perfect time to segway into talking about all things ‘high school’. Although I’m 10 years older than the girls, it still feels like yesterday I was in their shoes, doing things like dieting even though I didn’t need to, worrying about what people thought of me, and was boy-crazy! 

One of Krista's Go Girls wrote this about her.
I love having my voice heard by these impressionable young girls who have their whole lives ahead of them. I know what I’m telling them is important and that if they really listen to what I’m saying, it could make a huge difference for them. If there is one thing that I say over and over again, in a thousand different ways over the 7 weeks, it’s to be themselves, exactly as they are! I was always telling the girls that in high school, I spent the first 3 years trying to fit in to the popular crowd (which I never did fit in with), and I’ve always regretted it. I was always trying to do what was “cool” and not necessarily what I wanted to do (which was probably staying home watching movies).  When I was in grade 12, I finally realized that I didn’t care what the popular kids thought of me, because I realized that people liked my crazy, weird, different self, something that I had tried to hide for so long. I was able to be loud, sang off-key often, dance around in the halls and wore whatever I felt like. Grade 12 was the best year of my high school career because I made friends based on who I truly was. I tell that story to my girls to hopefully set them free to be whoever they want to be, and not to be scared or intimidated in high school.

This year, I plan on running another Go Girls Program with the hopes of telling those girls the exact same thing. I want to empower these young women, and this program makes it so easy to do that. I show up every week, for 1 hour, read what I’m given, and talk openly with the girls about what’s really important right now. I can’t wait to meet the next group of my Go Girls!

If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2.  

No comments:

Post a Comment