Today was all about pathways for the girls, looking at what they’ve already done in their lives, and the skills and experiences they’ve had along the way. It was great to see the relationships that have built up in just a few short weeks between the mentors and mentees. We know each other’s names and are getting more familiar with the ‘personalities’ in the room, and there definitely are some: both amongst the girls and their mums which is great to see.
Working in small groups, we discussed the different career goals the girls had, and it was really heartening to see that so many girls have got big plans for their future. Their future career paths include becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses and hairdressers, so there are a real variety of aspirations within the group. It was also great to hear them talking about role models who have already achieved academic success; siblings who have gone on to university or who have their own business.
As mentors we shared our own pathways to get to where we are right now, and it was quite weird to think back over my life. I wanted to be a social worker, journalist or teacher when I was their age (which seems like a realllly long time ago!). When I shared my planned and actual pathway with the girls, I also shared some of my life experiences along the way that shaped my pathway and led to me making different decisions and how my path changed every so often as a result.
The small group I was working with were looking at the ‘traditional’ route of Further Education and then University, and it was refreshing to see them all talking about getting work experience and even volunteering…so hopefully Mosaic will get a few new recruits from this group in a few years’ time!
The mum’s session was all about further education and raising their level of awareness and understanding of the higher education sector and what options are open to their daughters in terms of college and university. While a lot of the mums knew what the process was, it was the first time they were learning about some of the detail behind the process. To be honest, things have changed so much since some of mentors were at school a few years ago (OK, more than a few years ago!!), that we all learnt something from today’s session!
The mums I talked to both spoke limited English, and had a basic school education in Pakistan. They were both very determined that their daughters would go on to further and higher education, and were very vocal about the importance of education and having a good job for their daughters.
One of the mum’s said that she would do whatever she needed to so that her daughter got a good education, and her husband and sons felt the same. They both talked about the need for daughters in particular, to be able to provide for themselves as you don’t know what the future holds for them.
I was really happy to hear the passion for their daughter’s education that was evident in both these mums. They recognised that they could not help their daughters themselves with their school work, but they both were supporting them in terms of giving them the time and space to do their work, and getting them help from siblings or through tuition. They were also determined that their daughters would have a better education than they had.
All in all another great session where the girls, mums and mentors all learnt a lot.