Today Raise, has launched this year’s Letters to My Mentor campaign calling on people from all over Australia to volunteer their time to become mentors for young people at risk of disengagement or poor wellbeing. During these unprecedented and challenging times, youth mentoring is more important than ever.
This year’s Letters to My Mentor campaign features Australian personalities; Larry Emdur, Samantha Harris, Ellia Green OAM and Jacinta Tynan. They have written moving letters to their own mentors, demonstrating the difference one person can make to a young person’s life simply by listening and offering support:
Ellia Green OAM writes to her mentor:
“When my worst nightmare became a reality, losing the love of my life, Mum, you were there for us every step of the way and I will never forget that.”
Larry Emdur writes to his mentor:
“You were my Dad and my best mate, but it wasn’t till after you left us that I realised you were also my mentor… You made me a better son, a better husband and father, a better human being. I’m sorry I never got to tell you this stuff, but I’ve saved this letter in the cloud, hopefully it’s next to your cloud and you get to see it.”
Samantha Harris writes to her mentor:
“You gave everything you had to me and my brothers to ensure we would never know of the struggles you had faced with your upbringing.”
Jacinta Tynan writes to her mentor:
“You have quite literally picked me up off the floor. It was during one of your Sassy seminars when you could see – even from afar – that I wasn’t just tired. I was broken. You took me under your wing and nurtured me back to myself.”
Raise launched the inaugural Letters to My Mentor campaign last year with the support of Australian personalities: Georgie Gardner, Ryan Fitzgerald, Mark Beretta, Jean Kittson and Mia Freedman. The campaign was a huge success with over 1300 mentors recruited, trained and ready to start mentoring by the start of Term 2 of this year.
In 2021 Raise will expand its best practice mentoring programs in 155 schools across Australia. To deliver these programs Raise will onboard 2,500 mentors from the community into their programs, including 2,000 through this campaign.
Letters to My Mentor calls on all everyday Aussies to:
- Volunteer to become a Raise mentor and get matched with a vulnerable young person in your community
- Join the mentoring movement by calling out the mentor in your life – write and send them a letter
Raise CEO and Founder, Vicki Condon AM spoke of understanding the positive impact a trusted adult can have on a young person’s life.
“Our mentoring programs have proven time and time again just how important a mentor is in a young person’s life. Society as a whole, stands to reap the benefits of bringing community together in this way and we are so grateful to the thousands of volunteers we’ve trained to become mentors over the years,” Vicki said.
“Letters to My Mentor is helping us reach our goal of offering Raise mentoring programs to every public secondary school across the country by 2025.”
Research shows that quality mentoring greatly increases a young person’s resilience, ability to ask for help and hope for the future. For teenagers, mentoring greatly reduces the challenges of mental illness, disengagement from education, unemployment, bullying, drug and alcohol issues, homelessness, and disadvantage.
Australians can volunteer to become a Raise mentor and help make a difference in a young person’s life at www.raise.org.au.