Half the year has gone by in a blink of an eye and as such, we had our closing ceremony to end our English mentoring program. With high hopes and a bright future, mentees were ready to begin a new phase of their lives.

The event proved to be another learning experience as mentor Daniel Clavijo and our guest speaker, Karen Phillips, delivered inspiring speeches. Daniel started off sharing his experience with Diego, his mentee. As both recognized the importance of mentoring, Daniel highlighted that he himself was a direct result of many mentors, quoting that “it takes a village to raise someone.” He also encouraged attendees to be ‘open to receiving advice from different avenues,’ thus reinforcing the importance of mentoring.

Karen Phillips from the International Youth Foundation, gave mentees invaluable advice as her position as Director of Content and Training has made her an expert in the field of youth development. Reflecting on her own journey, she shared a few lessons that no doubt mentees will be able to benefit from: 1) Embracing their curiosity and keep on learning, 2) The importance of soft skills, and 3) Developing a support network. While they may seem simple, those three lessons are key, as learning from mistakes, knowing how to interact in the workplace, and having multiple mentors in life will no doubt result in success.

The ceremony came to an end as certificates were distributed to all those who had participated in the program. Students’ testimonies as well as our guest speakers made it an unforgettable closing ceremony. It was no doubt a learning experience for mentees and other attendees, thus ringing true to Karen Phillips’ words that ‘everyone has something special to teach us.’