Our Hero of the month for March is David Onigbanjo who has mentored at Westminster City School on Mosaic’s Secondary School Programme and the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge. David works as an Organisation Development Consultant for the Civil Service.
David has really impressed Mosaic with his great organisational skills which he has used to successfully plan his sessions and his ability to really inspire the young people he has supported. In our view, David is an exemplary mentor and very deserving of this award.
Well done David and thank you very much for your support.
How long have you been volunteering as a Mosaic mentor for?
What motivated you to want to become a mentor?
I mentored undergraduates many years ago and have mentored work colleagues for about 20 years. I felt that I had something to offer students in this age group too, as I have teenage children who have taught me loads.
Please tell us about a particular rewarding or special experience you have had as a mentor?
I was working with a group of students, finding it difficult to get a very shy and quiet student to fully engage. One session clashed with some mock exams, so attendance was less than normal. The quiet student suddenly felt the confidence to engage more in the session (as there were less people around) becoming vocal, animated and really excited about the future. It was great to see, and after this, the individual continued to join-in fully at the remaining sessions. The individual told me that they had got a lot out of the discussions and exercises, and that they had grown in confidence.
What have you learned from your time as a mentor?
It is best to plan for sessions, whilst remaining flexible in order to respond to the mood and needs of the group. Interactive sessions, which are fun, bring out the energy and fun in the whole group.
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
Instilling in people the same level of ambition and confidence for the future, as I have for each of them.
And what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I work as an Organisation Development Consultant for the Civil Service.
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
What makes a good mentor?
Being a good listener, having a sense of fun and being able to work with others.
How do you feel about receiving the Hero of the Month Award?
Really shocked and humbled.
If there was only one piece of advice you could give to a young person to achieve success, what would that be?
Think about what success looks and feels like, imagine it has already happened and the steps you have taken to get there – then do it.