Our Hero of the Month for May is Sheila Ellis, a lead mentor on our Primary Schools Programme at Cherry Orchard and City Road primary schools in Birmingham. Sheila works as a sociologist and usually works in educational settings and so is no stranger to schools.
Sheila has been chosen for an award because she has been a true inspiration to fellow mentors. She has really impressed teachers in the schools and most importantly has been totally committed to helping those she has supported through the mentoring sessions.
Marcia, a fellow mentor said:
“Shelia is a wonderful role model and so passionate about helping the girls to recognise their true potential. She is humble and a great motivator to both the mentees and the girls.”
What motivated you to want to become a mentor?
I wanted to use my skills and experience to support others to explore and develop their potential.
Please tell us about a particular rewarding or special experience you have had as a mentor?
I have enjoyed watching shy and reticent girls find their voice and begin to contribute to sessions, but particularly seeing them take on challenges such as trying something new out in front of the whole group.
What have you learned from your time as a mentor?
The impact mentors can have in such a short time.
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
Not having enough time to do things in more depth.
And what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I am a sociologist and I work in educational settings.
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
Yes: it is very rewarding. I have also learnt a great deal from the girls, their mothers and my mentor colleagues.
What makes a good mentor?
Enthusiasm, commitment, consistency, knowledge and being able to sustain boundaries.
How do you feel about receiving the Hero of the Month Award?
Surprised, but delighted!
If there was only one piece of advice you could give to a young person to achieve success, what would that be?
Work hard to be true to yourself.
Any other personal reflections?
I’ve really enjoyed seeing the positive changes in some of the young girls and mothers, but I’ve also simple loved meeting and working with all the girls, their mothers and aunts, my mentor colleagues and the school staff who have lead on and supported the Mosaic programme.