ARARAT - The Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network Mates program is now into its fourth month of operation at the Ararat College with the first group of mentoring matches really getting to know each other.
The students and their mentors meet once every two weeks for one hour. The meetings may involve any number of activities such as cooking a meal together or embarking on a new hobby that neither has tried before. It's also an opportunity to talk about the student's hopes and aspirations for the future.
"Mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and all are very supportive, providing hope and optimism to their young people," Ararat College program co-ordinator John Young said.
Local companies have fully supported the Mates Mentoring program with AME and Gason allowing their employees time to visit their mentee during working hours.
For Anne-Marie and Emily the mentor relationship has provided them with new experiences.
For Anne-Marie its Emily's company.
"She is a great girl and we enjoy doing the same things," Anne-Marie said.
"As a mentor you really get as much out of the program as the mentee."
Emily also loves the program.
"It's fun to be connecting with somebody from an older generation and we are a perfect match," Emily said.
The Ararat College is now preparing for a second group of mentor matches this term.
The Mates Mentoring program is also expanding into the Ararat North, Ararat West and Ararat 800 primary schools so if you are interested in being a mentor and supporting a young person, please contact Aidan Leahy at the Central Grampians LLEN, 68 High St, Ararat or telephone 5352 3266 for more information.