Coaching and mentoring for high school graduates

Coaching and mentoring for high school graduates

Written by Carolyne and Samuel, HHFL’s high school graduates

The month of February has been great to HHFL’s 2012 high school graduates. We were visited by Alexandra, Mama Hanne’s daughter, who is our mentor and coach.  It is a difficult task for anyone who is just fresh from high school to make informed decision on what career to undertake and find the right schools. Alexandra came to visit us at the perfect time to ensure that we do not fall victim of decisions that are not adequately thought of.

Alexandra has been doing a lot of ground work in Canada on our behalf with respect to opening opportunities for post-secondary education. So when she came to visit us, we were very serious and spent every day working together.  She started the coaching sessions by helping us discover our passion and talents with a special emphasis on appreciating ourselves and others. We were given the task of writing down 12 adjectives that describe us and she encouraged us to ask our friends and families to get the most honest and original perspective. Through this exercise, we came to realize our strengths and drawbacks that we never knew before. We had to read our lists out loud to the group and the debates got very animated!!! We were put in our spot very quickly by our peers! It was an exercise that we loved doing and more importantly, it helped us determine suitable career paths.

The second part of the sessions focused on process and execution – two words that we now understand much better. She taught us the steps to turn our dreams into reality. The ‘how-to’s’ is something that we struggle with at times. Under her guidance, we learned how to properly research careers, schools and funding opportunities. She helped us realize that we need to take ownership of our lives to make our future as successful as possible. We must stay hungry for success and count on ourselves to make it happen!

Throughout the sessions, Alexandra helped us build our confidence. After we collected our research, she asked us to present our findings to a large group and she suggested ways to do this without fear. We were put into teams of three and critiqued each other. This was a good exercise as most of us need to work on our presentation style, especially while we are approaching schools and eventually employers.  We also worked together on developing good writing styles – composing original, well organised thoughts in the form of bios and CVs.

Tom, Alexandra’s husband also held a great session on ‘web search’. During our research exercise, he taught us the principles of web search and how to do internet searches to get the best results. He taught us about keywords and how to play around with them to get varying results from the search engines. Wow this has really simplified our work!

Our big thanks to Alexandra and Tom for sharing their invaluable time with us! We are continuing to work with Alexandra even though she is back in Canada. We feel very motivated and hope to put our hard work to good use and find post secondary school placements once our marks are released at the end of March.

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