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  • Writer's pictureChloe Lewis

Meet our mentoring pairs: Sade and Abigail

A few months ago, we caught up with Abigail and Sade, a brilliant mentoring pair from the 2021-22 cohort. Abigail is now a Year 12 student, and Sade is a Clinical Psychologist.

 

"The most unique part of our relationship is how well matched we are in terms of our interests. We get on really well. It's a testament to the Catalyst matching process and the effort we have put into getting to know each other.”


Sade is a clinical psychologist, working in forensic mental health. Determined that other Black women will not face the same lack of representation that she has, she decided to become a mentor with the Catalyst. “I’ve made it my business to find other Black psychologists, and to encourage the next generation.”


Last academic year, Sade mentored Abigail, a year 11 student interested in the field of criminal psychology. For Abigail, mentoring proved a good way to occupy her time, and helped her to gain an insight into her chosen career path, from the valuable perspective of another Black woman.


Abigail has always felt comfortable talking to her mentor: “It has been what I expected, and more. She is always motivating me and it makes me want to work harder.”


As a pair, Sade and Abigail worked towards a number of goals together. One of these was to broaden Abigail’s knowledge of psychology. “Our last session was my favourite so far. I was learning more about Sade’s journey in her career.” The pair also discussed study tips so Abigail can obtain her desired grades for college, and worked on Abigail’s personal statement for university.


Sade recognises that mentoring is not just a one way street. “It is such an enriching experience on both ends. I’ve gained so much and I have learnt about myself.” Seeing her mentee’s drive and commitment motivated Sade in her own life: “Abigail is such an inspiring young woman. I appreciate how open she has been about what she wants to achieve. It's really lovely to see at such a young age.”


Despite the busyness of school and work, both Sade and Abigail believe that mentoring is worth prioritising. They worked together to find a good rhythm in their meetings, through maintaining communication and being understanding when challenges come up.


This pair are a wonderful example of the ethos of the Catalyst, a place where Black women support and uplift one another. But their story started long before they met one another.

Sade explained that her great-grandmother is the person who most inspires her. “She is 93 and the matriarch of my family. She came here from Jamaica and built a life for her family. She inspired me to be a strong independent black woman, and this message has filtered through the generations.”

“For me,” Abigail shares, “it is my mum. She has overcome so much. She is the only Black woman on her team at work, but she doesn’t let that get in the way of anything.”


And in terms of words of wisdom for the incoming cohort, their advice was to “Go for it!” Sade would encourage members to embrace the valuable connection they are making, and to have fun with it. And Abigail, speaking to the mentees says, “Don’t be shy. Be comfortable with your mentor. I have learnt that there is always someone there who can guide you.”

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