Felix is a Film and TV Lecturer at Glasgow Clyde College and also works for Solar Bear, a charity theatre company.
He heard about MCR from a work colleague and was instantly drawn to the programme.
“From the many connections we have in life, creating a new one that stretched from a simple human connection to a life-changing relationship… well that was intriguing to say the very least.”
Why did you decide to become a mentor?
“I did not have a smooth ride at school. It can be a lonely place when things are not going well, especially if you fall behind the academic curve. It is easy not to see your own potential and ability, and it’s easy to perpetuate negative things and believe you are not good enough. Certainly this was my experience.
Thankfully, I had some great teachers and people around me and in my later years I turned things around and academically did very well. I became a mentor to help young people see their potential, shine a light on their ability, and be a non-judgmental ear in the room. I knew from the beginning that I would also learn and grow in the process, and that has been the case.”
What changes have you seen in the young person you mentor?
“The young person I am mentoring is incredibly mature and well rounded. We have been exploring what she might want to do in the future, what her dreams are and what opportunities are out there. We also spend a good amount of time just ‘chewing the fat’.
Specifically she is interested in media and filmmaking. We are putting together a short film to enter into a BBC young person’s news story competition.”
How do you balance mentoring with your workload?
“I have a very busy life, but it is only 1 hour a week. It is about making a commitment with yourself. My advice to anyone is set the time aside and do not go into it half-hearted.”
What have you gained from mentoring?
“We laughed and talk and exchanged ideas and dreamed a little. I am not sure how to put that into words in terms of what I have gained, but I think it is explicit in itself.”
Any advice you’d give to someone thinking about mentoring?
“It is like anything in life, it’s a journey. If you are the type of person that connects with the program, take a leap of faith, sign up. There is no telling where it might take you and, at the very least, you get the opportunity to make a positive impact on a young person’s life. That is a gift in lots of different ways.”