February 15, 2021

“The Mentorship Programme creates a new dimension of EYP”: Why mentorship matters!

Why do we need mentorship? It can be tempting to think that we should be able to do everything ourselves, but sometimes a mentor can help you in ways you did not even know you needed. Whether it is a personal or a professional challenge, a mentor can help you find an unusual perspective and help you grow.

Taking the next step in your personal development journey can be daunting, but with the right guidance it does not have to be. As a mentee, it is enlightening and reassuring to be able to ask someone else questions about the obstacles in your path towards achieving your goals. The mountain ahead of the mentee may be a molehill in hindsight for the mentor, and there are invaluable insights to be shared.

For a mentor, helping someone take their next steps in their journey can be rewarding and even help them get to know themselves better! Poet Maya Angelou said: 

“In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care. You must care. […] Know what you know and care about the person, care about what you know and care about the person you’re sharing with.”

In other words, if you do something to enrich someone else’s life and existence, you are likely enriching yourself personally as well.

In a way, the Mentorship Programme continues the learning process that a volunteer embarks on when participating in an EYP event. Why not turn this wonderful learning process into professional mentorship and strengthen the cross-generational solidarity in the EYP network? So in 2020, over 60 EYPers from more than 20 different countries joined the Mentorship Programme to take their next steps or help someone do just that!

Darya, the EYP Alumni Coordination Group member responsible for the Mentorship programme puts it best when she says: 

“One thing which unites all the active members and Alumni of the EYP is how talented, how intelligent, and how impactful they are. And I am happy to see how our Mentorship Programme brings young talents with already experienced EYPers together and helps both mentors and mentees to skyrocket to the next level of their professional and personal development.”

We heard directly from the most recent crop of participants what this initiative meant to them. Lena Kreft (DE) said, “I joined the Mentorship Programme because I want to learn more about how I can incorporate the skills I have acquired in EYP in my later job as a teacher.” Klara Kokalj (SI) remarked that, “the community of EYP is based on mutual help and information sharing and this programme is an exciting way in which we can share such.”Tim Kniepkamp (DE) told us, “To me, the mentorship programme creates a new dimension of EYP. It enables me to gain benefit from the network not only personally, socially and politically, but also career-wise.”

The three volunteers focus on different aspects of their time in the programme, but they all value the complement that the Mentorship Programme provides to their EYP experience and professional or academic journey.

If you are ready to be a mentor or a mentee, you can apply to be a part of the 2022 Mentorship programme until September 12th here. You might just be surprised at what can be achieved, with just a little experienced help.