The world is truly your oyster. But where do you start? How do you know what you want to do in the world? It”s hard to walk along a path when you can’t see what is coming your way!
She is the Director and Co-founder of The Girls Network, who match girls from low-income families with a professional female mentor. The charity works with over 700 girls in London, Portsmouth, Brighton, Liverpool…. and will be starting up in Manchester in January 2017.
Becca works with schools and housing associations to select the girls that would most benefit from the programme. These girls have potential but often lack confidence. The mentors meet with the girls once a month for a year, offering life chances and opportunities that they would not normally have. Many of the skills learnt are incredibly helpful in the workplace.
Confidence can be gained by understanding that your mentor has been through similar things and that you are not alone. Hearing how others felt about different situations, and what strategies they put in place, can build resilience and grit. You may then put yourself forward for something that you previously felt unsure of and opportunities will follow.
Becca is proud of all of her girls and finds huge reward in seeing how they have grown and developed. When they complete the programme, they become ambassadors with access to the network, and she hopes that in time they come back and mentor other girls.
“You can’t be what you can’t see”
The light bulb moment happened when Becca was a teacher on a school trip to London with her class, standing outside the Gherkin. One of the girls asked why that smartly dressed woman was going inside? Becca replied, “Well, she is going to work of course”. She realised then that some of these girls had never seen a professional working woman before – and that was a problem. How can you know what roles and opportunities were available to women if you can’t see it happening?
If you get young people seeing other people do great things, they can see the path and feel that they can do great things too. It’s such an effective way of empowering girls and preparing them for whatever lies ahead.
What does it take to be a mentor?
Becca has many different women with many different backgrounds supporting her girls. Some of the women have been in work for 2-3 years, some are in the middle of their careers, some are upper management and CEO’s and others are in retirement – making a diverse group of volunteers that can support the many differing needs of the girls.
Why not have a listen to our podcast with Rebecca Dean to learn how we can all benefit from mentors and how life skills that you may take for granted, can be life changing for others.
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If you are interested in mentoring for the charity find out more and apply at www.thegirlsnetwork.org.uk
You can check them out on Facebook: the girls network or follow them on twitter: @thegirlsnet
If you would like to find out more about building resilience – download our free ebook Resilience Unravelled