Being a mentor can be rewarding and the recently launched Mayor's Mentoring Programme, a much-needed scheme, which will focus on young men in inner-city London can transform their future so that it has a chance, a welcome distraction from the much glorified gang and gun culture, which seeks to seduce young vulnerable men, particularly those who have no positive vision of their valued place in society.
I was a mentor to a young 16 year old black male, way back in the eighties and yes, I found it challenging, because I was perceived, quite understandably, as possessing the power to make things happen. Of course, the reality is that although miracles do happen, I've always advocated that it's consistent hard work that usually brings rewards. And I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for a few mentors guiding me along my chosen path; sometimes these gems were my mother, close friends, a relative and the occasional boss. I absorbed their advice, but more importantly, I took action; I made the necessary phone calls, I did some research and I signed up to whatever evening class I needed to get me further up the ladder to where I wanted to be. Small steps are by far easier to take on, and with a vision of the light at the end of the tunnel, I got where I wanted to be, eventually, although I still watch and observe what's going on around me in my field, of writing, editing, blogging. I have to keep doing the work to develop my craft, and by absorbing how other great writers make it, I believe if I put in enough hard work, then I will achieve.
I would say to any young person who wants to make a difference, who wants something more than our society has to offer, then allow yourself the luxury and indulge in that unique relationship with a mentor, who has the opportunity to empower you, to advise you how to transform your life, so that you too can achieve, you too can put your dreams into real action!
Nicole Moore is a freelance writer, editor, blogger and published poet. She is the founder of Shangwe www.shangwe.com