I first heard about the mentoring project through my church. I had some spare time outside of work and thought it sounded like a great opportunity. After completing my training on the key skills I would need as a mentor, I was matched with my mentee. I felt nervous at first, as I was unsure about how the family would react to me. However, we all became comfortable with each other quickly and I was able to get to know my mentee through taking part in our shared hobbies together. Gradually I started to challenge his attitudes towards his peers, teachers and family and encouraged him to think about his future goals. I now understand what a huge difference speaking words of encouragement, rather than negativity, can make to a young person and have been so inspired through seeing my mentee begin to fulfil his potential.