We are delighted to announce Atiya Sheikh as our June Hero of the Month.
Atiya works for Inemmo in London as a Leadership Consultant and works beside senior managers within client organisations to identify specific employee development opportunities.
For the past eighteen months, Atiya, has been a mentor for the Primary School Programme, Secondary School Programme, The Enterprise Challenge and the International Programme.
Hero of the Month was awarded to Atiya in recognition of her outstanding commitment and dedication to the programmes, as well as for being a truly inspirational figure for those she has mentored.
How do you feel about receiving the Hero of the Month Award?
It was an honour and a privilege to be part of the Mosaic programme and an even greater honour to be recognised in this way.
Which schools did you mentor in?
I mentored the Primary School Programme at Bygrove, the Secondary School Programme at Sir John Cass and the Enterprise Challenge at King Solomon.
What motivated you to become a mentor?
I was motivated to become a mentor with Mosaic chiefly based on its stated aims for the Primary School Programmes of raising the aspirations of young girls and empowering mothers to support their daughters.
For me, few things could be more rewarding than helping these young mentees to instigate change and cultivate in them the responsibility and the interpersonal skills that would help them achieve their ambitions, and grow into the kind of young, confident individuals that they would like to be.
Please tell us about a particular rewarding or special experience you have had as a mentor?
The whole Primary School Programme has been particularly rewarding for me. Much of the time the students know what it is in their hearts and minds and know what they want to say, it’s just fear stops them.
At the start of the programme only a few students were prepared to share their thoughts, but as the programme progressed I was delighted to see an increasing number of hands going up in the air, all keen to share their thoughts and opinions.
I believe that through this programme we have helped them find the courage and confidence to say, ‘You know what? My opinion counts!’
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
The biggest challenge for me personally is being able to divide my time so that in addition to meeting my work commitments I can ensure that I also meet my mentoring and volunteering commitments.
The vastly rewarding experiences I got from being a mentor completely outweighed any challenges, and the personal fulfilment I gained from seeing the benefit of dedicating time to the mentees made it such a worthwhile experience for me and one I can totally recommend.
What have you learned from your time as a mentor?
Rather than learned, I would say that it reinforced my belief that where the motivation is genuine, mentoring can be a productive experience for both sides and as such, mentees and mentors can come to understand and respect others motivations and attitudes irrespective of backgrounds or personal experiences.
And what do you think makes a good mentor?
The qualities I believe a good mentor must possess are patience, honesty, selflessness, a non-judgemental attitude, the ability to engage in active listening, and an appreciation for diversity.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to a young person to achieve success what would that be?
You are as special as you are unique, never be afraid to share your gifts with others for when you do, you learn and grow together. True success can only be achieved through collaboration and sharing.
Any other personal reflections.
It is important to reflect upon and understand your own motivation for embarking upon a mentor-mentee relationship. A successful relationship results only when you are prepared to be invest in the success of the mentee, willing to share the information, demonstrate a positive attitude and act as a positive role model.
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
Yes, I definitely would!