“Having a mentor that is a few years ahead of you is a unique relationship,” says Hayley, Hamilton’s MATES coordinator. “They can share their experiences, wins and struggles of finishing high school and deciding to head to university.”
The MATES crew meet every Wednesday for a two-hour session over the course of 25 weeks. Mentors offer support with goal-setting, tutoring in NCEA subjects, writing CVs, job seeking, scholarship and University applications, as well as one-on-one peer support.
The MATES programme aims to increase resilience and academic skills, which will support young people in their transition from high school into future education, training or employment.
“For many of our mentees, they are the first in their family to attend university,” says Hayley. “The MATES programme allows the mentees to gain a firsthand experience of what their lives may look like as a university student and how they go about achieving the goals they have set for themselves.”