This Monday was my first day as a mentor for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) program offered through the University of South Australia. The AIME mentoring program provides Indigenous high school students with the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers.
Before the start of the activities, I was pretty apprehensive. “What if we can’t click”, “What if I wasn’t being sensitive”, “What if …” thousands of what ifs crippled my rational thoughts. However, my worries were dispelled almost immediately the moment the students walked into the classroom.
The sessions for the day are as follows:
- Team building Games: To build rapport through ice-breaking games.
- Instilling a sense of identity: To establish for the kids a new psychological framework whereby Indigenous = Success.
- AIME for the Stars: To provide a sense of purpose and direction.
Retrospectively, when I was at the age of 15, as most of the people in the AIME program are, I was clueless, unmotivated and constantly asked myself “Why do I even have to go to school?”. I could really relate to how they feel about school. I lived life as it was, and didn’t care about the future. It took me 21 years to realise the importance of study and how vital it is if we wanted to compete with others when we go out into society. Through my own experience and some regrets, I wanted to make a difference through awareness and guidance.
“The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance” – Nathaniel Branden
There will be 3 other sessions before the program ends so stay tuned for more updates about AIME.
For those who are interested, you can enquire at: http://www.unisa.edu.au/study-at-unisa/unisa-college/aime-mentoring/