This week was our first joint session with the mums and girls and it was lovely to have a crowded room full of eager mums, excited daughters and fabulous mentors and school staff. There was a great atmosphere in the room with a really comfortable and easy atmosphere that made it feel as if we’d all known each other for months instead of a couple of weeks.
Ms Shergill had collated a great range of pictures of role models from all walks of life, from Jessica Innes to Rihanna and Aishwarya Rai. This variety of female role models led to a very lively discussion within our small groups about what made these women role models, what they have achieved and what they have to do as a role model.
All mentors got to share our role models with our small groups, and I was really proud to share mine. My biggest and best role model in life has been my mum, who passed away just over 12 years ago. Her words and wisdom are part of my life every day and make me so proud to be her daughter. When I shared this with the group, there was some sympathy from everyone, but also real recognition of how powerful and important positive role models are. One of the mum’s cited her husband’s grandmother as her biggest role model as she’d really helped her to settle into married life, and another mum in our group said her own mother had been her role model and taught her how to cook, sew and look after a household.
It seemed easier for the girls to identify with the well-known and famous role models, while their mums tended to use real life examples of people they know, which included family members, friends and neighbours. When the whole group came together to share our experiences, it was obvious this had been a valuable exercise for some of the mums and the mentors in the group. It was an opportunity for them to reflect on and acknowledge the people who had been a positive influence in their lives, with everyone from their brothers, fathers and mothers being named as examples of role models.
One of the girls said her mum was her role model, which was such a lovely thing for the mum to hear, for the daughter to recognise and for us all to be a part of – and something that may not have been said without this Mosaic programme. One of the mums lightened the mood when she declared, very confidently, that she was her own role model, and had achieved so much in her life, especially being a single mum who was working hard for her children to have a better future. She was the highlight of the week and left the whole group in stitches – a great high to end the session on!
Once the mums and girls had left the mentors and staff all spend some time reviewing the session and planning for next week. Ms Shergill and Ms Rana are both amazing and very open to our ideas and comments and they make the job very easy for us to do with their commitment and organisational skills. Without giving too much away, all I will say is next week’s session should be a good one – watch out for those paper planes!