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  • Writer's pictureChloe Lewis

Meet our Mentoring Matches: Niketa and Ernesta

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

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 Niketa and Ernesta, one of our first pairs!

Here they tell us a bit more about themselves and their early experiences on the programme.


Ernesta, Year 11 is a busy year, but you’ve made time for mentoring alongside everything else. Why is it important to you to have a mentor this year?

I wanted to take part because Year 11 is a vital year where you’re making the jump from secondary school to sixth form and there’s lots changing and lots to learn. You have to learn to organise yourself better and a mentor will help guide you and be better prepared.

Niketa, the same question to you – there’s a lot going on in the world right now! Why is volunteering your time something you’ve prioritised, and why have you chosen mentoring as the way to do it?

Given everything happening to the education system with Covid it felt particularly important to me to volunteer to support someone in education given all the challenges young people are facing. I was particularly drawn to this opportunity as it offered the opportunity to support young black women specifically.

Can you tell us a bit about your mentoring ‘pair’? Why do you think you were matched? Have you discovered that you have anything in common?

Ernesta: I think because I do lots of different things, and you do lots of things with your time as well, and even our A-levels are quite similar.

Niketa: Yes you’re someone who likes to be busy and I’m the same, you also clearly have a lot of focus and drive to meet your goals I think I’m also quite like that.

What have your first meetings been like?

Niketa: I really enjoyed our first meeting, you’re really organised. From that first meeting you were there on time, ready to get started and were clear about why you wanted to do mentoring. I admired that focus and when talking to you it’s clear how intelligent and engaging you are. It made me think it was a good match!

Ernesta: From the first meeting I could see you really wanted to do this. I thought you were really engaging and it made me think this won't be a chore! I’ve been looking forward to our meeting and I knew I wouldn’t be bored in our sessions.

What are you looking forward to this year as a pair?

We’re both looking forward to getting started, working on the goals we’ve set for ourselves and seeing what else we cover in our sessions. If lockdown ever lifts, we might even be able to go for a walk or a coffee!


We're looking forward to seeing how they develop throughout the programme!

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