Mohammed's journey with MATES began in 2021 when he joined as a mentee at Aorere College. Now, as a university student pursuing a Biomedical Science degree, Mohammed is excited to return as a MATES mentor at Avondale Intermediate School in 2024.

What initially inspired you to become a mentor?

I was inspired to become a mentor by my belief that I could make a positive impact. It was also a chance to give back to the community and improve my communication skills.

What does a mentoring session look like now as a mentor?

The mentoring sessions have been great. They include creative activities, study sessions, and lots of discussions with my mentees, other groups of mentees, and mentors. It reminds me of my time as a MATES mentee.

How has being a mentor influenced your personal and professional growth?

Being a mentor has helped me overcome speech barriers and communicate more clearly with others. This skill is valuable for my professional growth, especially when interacting with a diverse group of people in a clinic. Working with young people has given me experience in providing age-appropriate care during clinical visits.

Can you describe a memorable moment or experience you have had since mentoring at Avondale?

One memorable moment out of the many I have had; was the bond I have developed with my mentee. It's incredible how quickly my mentee has become comfortable with me, sharing their high school experiences while I also share mine. It makes me feel like I'm making a real difference in their life, and I'm confident I can continue to support them.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a mentor?

I encourage anyone interested in mentoring to pursue it because it's rewarding and offers valuable social and mentoring experience. Mentoring not only helps support mentees as they navigate new chapters of their lives but also develops personal growth for yourself as a mentor.

Looking ahead, what are some goals for your journey as a mentor?

My current goals as a mentor are:

●     Help my mentees explore different options and improve their study habits by sharing tips that worked for me.

●     Address my mentee's concerns about secondary schooling by introducing them to NCEA subjects and exploring the opportunities offered at high school.

●     Strengthen my relationships with my mentees.

●     Design engaging, interactive activities that cater to my mentee's diverse learning styles.