Shanai is one of the finest graduates of Standing Tall Mentoring in Hamilton. This is her story…

“Mentoring changed my life! Before Jackie (Mentor), I didn’t have much confidence, I kept to myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I hated being at school.

Through the Standing Tall program at Baimbridge College, I met Jackie. She listened to me, she encouraged me to chase my dreams and supported me in achieving some of my goals, including helping me gain my first job at KFC.

She showed me that I could be whatever I wanted to be. I now have confidence in myself, and I have a plan for my future.”

Since completing the program, Shanai now lives in Warrnambool and is studying Certificate 3 in Children Services at South West TAFE. She continues to act as an ambassador for the program, and has become an excellent public speaker through talking to community groups about her mentoring experience.

“Mentoring changed my life”

Alan & Patrick

In 2014 Alan won the Victorian and National Youth Mentor or the Year award. Alan has been mentoring with Standing Tall in Hamilton since 2011. Patrick is his mentee:

“When accepted as a mentor I examined the Standing Tall program system from a personal point of view questioning my motives for wishing to be a mentor. I believed I was too old to bridge the ‘Generation Gap’ and so selfishly thought I had much to gain but little to give. Time has proved me wrong!

I have learnt so much, especially through my relationship with Patrick. Without seeking rewards, I do have much to gain – I gain a lasting friendship, treasured memories, shared self belief, and above all the knowledge that I have helped Patrick, by walking not behind him, by walking not in front of him, but beside him!”

Patrick on being mentored by Alan:

“Alan is a great mentor, it is great hanging out with someone so wise, who can teach me lots of interesting stuff, he used to be a teacher, so he has lots to share. We enjoy a lot of the same things. Standing Tall has given me a new friend, someone with common interests.

He teaches me a lot about music, different cultures (especially his Scottish heritage), facts about different places, and how things differ to Australia. We enjoy reading Poetry together, we have explored the works of Robert Burns. He encourages me in my love of music, gets me to play pieces on my violin. Alan is hoping that we might soon sing and play the violin together somewhere. We have watched Symphony performances together.

There is so much we can learn from each other, this is a great experience!”