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  • Writer's pictureChloe Lewis

Meet our Mentoring Matches: Judith and Caitlyn

Each month, we'll be introducing you to one of our mentoring pairs, so you can hear more about The Catalyst Programme, in their own words.

This month, meet Judith and Caitlyn!

Caitlyn is a year 11 student at Eastside Young Leaders' Academy, our partner school and Judith is a doctor. This month, they shared a little about their interests, their priorities, and what they're getting out of the mentoring programme so far.

 

Caitlyn: Year 11 is a busy year and this one has been stranger than most! How are you managing to fit in mentoring alongside everything else you have going on? Why have you decided to prioritise having a mentor?

Personally, it hasn’t been hard to fit in mentoring and school, because I feel that I am not being put under too much pressure in our mentoring sessions, and that it is important to my future. I find our sessions productive and helpful. I decided to prioritise having a mentor because it is helping me beyond my GCSEs and allowing me to focus on A-levels and university, in order to achieve my goal of becoming a doctor.


Judith: You’re in the midst of your GP training and have a lot of existing commitments! Why have you made time for mentoring too? Is this a new experience for you?

I have made time for mentoring because I feel that it is important to be able to provide support and inspiration to young people, and to help them reach their potential. When I was younger, I didn’t have access to a mentor with whom I could identify, and who I felt was committed to investing in me. It feels like a real privilege to be able to provide this opportunity to black girls who face the same challenges I faced. It’s wonderful to be able to say “if I can do it, so can you!” This is my first time mentoring a school-aged student – prior to this, I mentored a 3rd year medical student.


What have you got in common as a pair?

We’re both interested in medicine (Judith is a doctor and Caitlyn aspires to become a paediatrician!). We both identify as Christians and draw inspiration from Jesus’s life as a motivation to help other people. We also love the arts - Judith is musical and Caitlyn is an artist!


What things are you already learning from each other and what are you looking forward to learning?

Caitlyn – I have learnt about resilience through Judith sharing her journey of becoming a doctor. I find this inspirational and I feel that, if she could do it, so can I! I look forward to learning about Judith’s travels and musical interests (in addition to medical stuff!)

Judith – Caitlyn is very good at expressing herself in a clear and honest way – I find this impressive and inspiring. I am looking forward to learning more about art and Ghanaian culture from her.


How does mentoring on Zoom work for you both? Have there been any challenges?

We have had a few technical issues but we’ve been able to laugh through them! We feel that, despite the challenges of technology, we have still been able to form a meaningful connection.


Caitlyn: Does it matter to have a mentor that is a Black woman?

Yes, this matters a lot to me. The only other black people I come into contact with are my family. The majority of my teachers are white and male, and I don’t feel able to identify with them, as I am aware that they have particular privileges that I don’t have. It’s nice to see someone who is the same as me, and to be able to learn from their experiences and apply them to my own journey.


Judith: What are you looking forward to most from the year of mentoring?

I am looking forward to watching Caitlyn grow and develop, and get closer to achieving her dreams. I also look forward to the various things I know I will learn from Caitlyn as we discuss topics ranging from Ghanaian art and self-expression, to knowing ourselves and managing pressure.


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