Lee-Ann has been mentoring Josh* at Auchenharvie Academy in North Ayrshire since Spring 2019. We first met with Lee-Ann just a few months after the pair began meeting to chat about their relationship. At the time the two were still getting to know each other, but, now, six months later, Josh is getting ready to leave school so we spoke with the two again to hear how their relationship had developed.
As the pair have been meeting for almost a year, reflecting on Josh and what he was like prior to meeting Lee-Ann was a good place to start.
“I wasn’t doing well in school, like in my exam I got a D. I wasn’t as prepared, I didn’t know what I was doing with myself. I had a rough idea, but didn’t know how I was going to go about it. My confidence wasn’t that good. I was honestly so different to now.”
“Josh had a wee persona about him, but when we dug a bit deeper over time, I saw that he did lack confidence in himself. He didn’t have faith in himself or in what he could achieve. From where he was then to where he is now – with all that he’s achieved in the last year – he’s totally come out of his shell.”
Both Josh and Lee-Ann have very outgoing, bubbly personalities and it seems as though the pair were the perfect match for one another! Even in the first meeting, they clicked and both look forward to their meeting each week.
“She’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant, honestly. The actual fact that we just clicked was so good. By the end of the first meeting I thought, “I’m buzzing for the next week.” It’s like my new motivation to get through the week is to get that 50 minutes to see my pal.”
“When I first met Josh, I thought that he was a breath of fresh air. I’ve gotten more out of it than I thought. I was a wee bit apprehensive about how I would gel and work with him, but we pretty much clicked from the get-go. He’s just really easy to chat to. I’m pretty outgoing, so it was after the second meeting it was almost as though we’d known each other for years.”
With Lee-Ann having now mentored Josh for almost a year, the changes they have experienced together have been incredibly rewarding and Lee-Ann has really enjoyed seeing just how far Josh has come. There’s real pride in his voice when he shares his recent results.
“In my Prelim exams I got 2 As, a B and a C. I’ve applied for a college course. I’ve got a test at a training academy for Joinery, and I’ve got to do a theory test and a practical test. I made my CV. See this time last year, I wouldn’t have thought to make a CV. Honestly, I’ve been getting pushed to do it and it’s been brilliant.”
“The change in him in a year has been phenomenal. I’m so proud of him and of how far he’s come. He’s learned to process his thoughts as well, rather than having it all in his head. We speak about things he wouldn’t speak to his family or other people about. He feels confident enough to speak to me and get an adult opinion. We’ve covered quite a few areas like that, that I think has helped make a difference.”
Lastly, we asked Lee-Ann what she would say to someone who was thinking about signing up to become a mentor:
“Go in with an open mind and you’ll be really surprised what you get out of it. I honestly didn’t expect to get out of it what I have. I look forward to my Fridays, that’s my wee bit of time that I get to spend with Josh and I feel uplifted for it. It’s just giving something back, it’s a very positive thing to do and I would encourage anyone to get involved in it.”
Have you been inspired to become a mentor after reading Josh and Lee-Ann’s story? You can #BeTheBridge for a young person and register to mentor via the button below.