HELLO, I AM
As a youth mentor, I provide guidance, support, and encouragement to young individuals typically in a one-on-one or small group setting. I may offer academic support, personal development assistance, emotional support, and help with social skills. I may also serve as positive role model, assist with self-exploration, provide access to networks and opportunities, and help reduce risky behaviors. The specific activities and approaches I utilise will vary depending on the needs and goals of the young person, but the overall aim is to support their growth, development, and well-being.
As a diploma certified life coach I include this as a core element of the work we do. I often get asked what coaching is so felt it important to share a little more here – Youth life coaching is a collaborative and solution-focused approach that empowers young people to achieve their goals. It involves one-on-one sessions where I assist young people to develop self-awareness, set meaningful goals, and overcome challenges. Youth life coaching focuses on skills development, goal-setting, and decision-making, and is distinct from mentoring as it empowers young people to develop their own strategies for success rather than providing guidance or advice based on the mentor’s personal experiences. I create a supportive and non-judgmental environment where young people can explore their thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and behaviors, and gain clarity about their goals and aspirations. The coaching relationship is based on mutual respect, trust, and confidentiality, and the coach serves as a facilitator, motivator, and accountability partner for the young person. Often when working with young people I include a blended offering encompassing mentoring and coaching then implement other modalities depending on the needs, goals and aspirations of the young person.
As a certified SOMA Breath Instructor – I include breathwork in my offering and I have found this to have profound positive effects. Breathwork refers to various techniques that use conscious control of the breath for therapeutic or meditative purposes, has been associated with several potential benefits:
Stress reduction: Breathwork techniques, such as deep abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, can activate the body’s relaxation response, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension. Slow, intentional breathing can help calm the nervous system and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
Improved emotional well-being: Breathwork has been reported to help regulate emotions and promote emotional well-being. Techniques such as circular breathing or conscious connected breathing can facilitate emotional release and promote emotional healing, helping individuals process and release unresolved emotions or trauma.
Increased mindfulness: Breathwork can serve as a form of mindfulness practice, helping individuals to become more present and focused on their breath, which can enhance mindfulness and self-awareness. Mindful breathing can also help individuals cultivate a greater sense of presence and awareness in the present moment.
Enhanced physical health: Conscious breathing has been associated with several physical health benefits. Deep breathing can help improve lung function, increase oxygenation, and promote better circulation. Breathwork has also been linked to improved cardiovascular health, reduced blood pressure, and improved digestion.
Self-regulation and self-care: Breathwork can empower individuals with self-regulation skills, helping them to manage their emotions, stress, and anxiety. It can also serve as a form of self-care, providing individuals with a tool for self-soothing, relaxation, and self-nurturing.
Increased energy and vitality: Certain breathwork techniques, such as energizing breath or kapalabhati, are believed to increase energy levels and vitality by invigorating the body and promoting a sense of wakefulness and alertness.
Nature escapes, which involve spending time in natural environments away from urban settings, can offer numerous benefits for youth, including:
Physical health: Nature escapes provide opportunities for youth to engage in physical activities such as hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, swimming, and exploring, which can promote physical fitness, coordination, and overall well-being. Spending time outdoors can also offer vitamin D from sunlight exposure, which is important for bone health.
Mental health and well-being: Nature has a calming effect on the mind and can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Being in nature allows youth to unplug from screens, connect with the natural world, and experience a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Exposure to green spaces has also been linked to improved cognitive function, attention, and creativity in youth.
Emotional and social development: Nature escapes provide opportunities for youth to develop emotional resilience, self-regulation skills, and social connections. Being in nature can offer a sense of freedom, exploration, and adventure, which can foster confidence, self-esteem, and self-identity development. Nature escapes also provide opportunities for positive social interactions and bonding with peers, family, or mentors.
Environmental awareness and stewardship: Nature escapes can foster a sense of connection and appreciation for the natural world, promoting environmental awareness and stewardship in youth. Experiencing nature firsthand can inspire a sense of responsibility towards protecting and preserving the environment, leading to a greater understanding of the importance of conservation and sustainability.
Learning and educational opportunities: Nature escapes offer experiential learning opportunities for youth to develop knowledge and skills related to ecology, wildlife, geology, and other natural sciences. Youth can learn about the natural world through observation, exploration, and hands-on activities, fostering curiosity, critical thinking, and environmental literacy.
Overall well-being: Nature escapes provide a break from the fast-paced, technology-driven modern world, allowing youth to connect with the rhythms of nature, engage in mindfulness, and experience a sense of awe and wonder. Spending time in nature can promote a sense of overall well-being, helping youth to disconnect from stressors, recharge, and foster a positive relationship with the natural world.
In summary, nature escapes can offer a wide range of benefits for youth, including improved physical health, enhanced mental health and well-being, emotional and social development, environmental awareness, learning opportunities, and overall well-being. Encouraging youth to spend time in nature and engage in outdoor activities can be a valuable investment in their holistic development and well-being.
Urban adventures, which involve exploring and engaging with urban environments, can offer several benefits for youth, including:
Cultural enrichment and diversity: Urban environments are often rich with diverse cultures, traditions, and experiences. Urban adventures can expose youth to a wide range of cultural, artistic, culinary, and recreational opportunities, fostering appreciation for diversity, inclusion, and tolerance.
Educational opportunities: Urban environments offer a wealth of educational opportunities for youth. Visiting museums, historical sites, libraries, and educational institutions in urban areas can enhance their knowledge and understanding of various subjects, including history, art, science, and technology. Urban adventures can also provide opportunities for experiential learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Career exploration and networking: Urban adventures can expose youth to diverse career opportunities and professional networks. Visiting urban areas can provide youth with exposure to different industries, businesses, and career paths, helping them explore their interests, passions, and potential future career paths. Youth may also have the chance to network with professionals and gain insights into different career options.
Social and interpersonal development: Urban adventures can provide opportunities for youth to develop social and interpersonal skills. Navigating urban environments, interacting with diverse populations, and engaging in community activities can foster social competence, communication skills, and adaptability. Urban adventures can also promote teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills, which are valuable for personal and professional development.
Exposure to civic engagement and community service: Urban environments often have opportunities for civic engagement and community service, such as volunteering at local organizations, participating in community events, and engaging in advocacy efforts. Urban adventures can expose youth to the importance of active citizenship, social responsibility, and community engagement, fostering a sense of civic-mindedness and social awareness.
Personal growth and self-reliance: Urban adventures can promote personal growth and self-reliance in youth. Navigating urban environments, managing transportation, budgeting, and planning can foster independence, responsibility, and self-confidence. Urban adventures can also expose youth to different perspectives, challenges, and experiences, promoting personal growth, resilience, and adaptability.
In summary, urban adventures can offer numerous benefits for youth, including cultural enrichment, educational opportunities, career exploration, social and interpersonal development, exposure to civic engagement, and personal growth. Encouraging youth to explore and engage with urban environments can be a valuable way to promote their holistic development and prepare them for the diverse challenges and opportunities of the modern world.
There is a growing body of substantial evidence to prove that diet and nutrition has a significant impact on mental health and wellbeing. I work closely with a renowned Nutritionist and Naturopath who can tailor health solutions specific to each individual through reading of blood diagnostic reports and assessment of lifestyle choices and situations as well as other contributing factors. Here are some of the key benefits:
Improved mood: A diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, has been associated with lower rates of depression and better mood regulation. In contrast, diets high in processed foods and refined sugars have been linked to an increased risk of depression.
Reduced stress and anxiety: Certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and magnesium, have been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Better cognitive function: A healthy diet can improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and concentration. This is thought to be due to the fact that certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are important for brain health.
Improved sleep: Certain nutrients, such as magnesium and tryptophan, can promote better sleep quality, which is important for overall mental health and wellbeing.
Reduced inflammation: Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish, can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Empowerment refers to the process of enabling individuals, including youth, to gain control over their lives, make meaningful decisions, and take actions to achieve their goals and fulfill their potential. Empowerment involves providing opportunities, resources, and support to individuals, so they can develop confidence, autonomy, and a sense of self-efficacy.
Empowerment can benefit youth in several ways:
Self-confidence and self-esteem: Empowerment helps youth develop a sense of self-confidence and self-esteem. When youth are given opportunities to make decisions, take actions, and achieve their goals, they gain a sense of competence and belief in their own abilities. This can lead to increased self-esteem, self-worth, and a positive self-identity, which are crucial for their personal and social well-being.
Autonomy and independence: Empowerment promotes autonomy and independence in youth. It allows them to have a voice, make choices, and take ownership of their lives. Empowered youth are encouraged to express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas, and are given the freedom to make decisions and take responsibility for their actions. This helps them develop a sense of autonomy, self-reliance, and resilience.
Motivation and goal-setting: Empowerment encourages youth to set and pursue meaningful goals. When youth have a sense of control over their lives and are supported in their aspirations, they are more motivated to work towards their goals. Empowerment helps youth develop a sense of purpose, direction, and motivation to strive for success, which can positively impact their academic, personal, and professional achievements.
Skill development and learning: Empowerment provides opportunities for skill development and learning. When youth are given the resources and support to take actions, they can acquire new knowledge, skills, and experiences. Empowerment programs and initiatives often include educational, vocational, or life skills training, which can enhance youth’s capabilities, expand their horizons, and prepare them for future challenges and opportunities.
Social and community engagement: Empowerment encourages youth to actively engage in their communities and make positive contributions. Empowered youth are more likely to participate in community activities, volunteer for causes they care about, and engage in civic and social initiatives. This promotes a sense of social responsibility, community engagement, and positive citizenship, helping youth become active and engaged members of their communities.
Resilience and well-being: Empowerment can foster resilience and well-being in youth. When youth are empowered, they are better equipped to face challenges, overcome obstacles, and bounce back from setbacks. Empowerment promotes a positive mindset, self-belief, and problem-solving skills, which can enhance youth’s emotional and mental well-being, and help them cope with the stresses and pressures of life.
In summary, empowerment benefits youth by promoting self-confidence, autonomy, motivation, skill development, social engagement, resilience, and well-being. Empowered youth are more likely to thrive, achieve their goals, and become active and engaged members of their communities, leading to positive outcomes in their personal, academic, and professional lives.
Having goals is crucial for youth as it provides them with a sense of purpose, direction, and motivation. I’ve listed below some key reasons why goals are important for youth:
Motivation and drive: Goals provide youth with a sense of motivation and drive to work towards something meaningful. When youth have clear goals, they are more likely to be focused, committed, and determined in their actions. Goals can inspire youth to put in effort, overcome challenges, and persevere towards their desired outcomes.
Personal growth and development: Goals can foster personal growth and development in youth. Setting and pursuing goals can help youth acquire new knowledge, skills, and experiences. It can also encourage self-reflection, self-assessment, and self-improvement, as youth strive to achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves.
Direction and purpose: Goals provide youth with a sense of direction and purpose. They help youth define what they want to achieve, set priorities, and make informed decisions. Goals can guide youth in their choices and actions, helping them stay focused and on track towards their desired outcomes.
Building resilience and perseverance: Setting and pursuing goals can help youth develop resilience and perseverance. Goal achievement often involves facing challenges, setbacks, and obstacles along the way. Youth who learn to persevere and overcome challenges in pursuit of their goals develop resilience, which is a valuable life skill that can benefit them in various areas of their lives.
Time management and organization: Goals require planning, organization, and time management skills. Youth who set goals learn to prioritize, manage their time effectively, and organize their resources to work towards their goals. These skills are important for academic success, personal productivity, and overall success in various aspects of life.
Sense of accomplishment and self-efficacy: Achieving goals gives youth a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-efficacy. When youth set and achieve their goals, they gain confidence in their abilities, which can positively impact their self-esteem, self-worth, and overall sense of competence.
Vision for the future: Goals help youth develop a vision for their future. By setting and pursuing goals, youth can envision their desired future outcomes and take steps towards realizing them. This can foster a sense of hope, optimism, and motivation for their future endeavors.
In conclusion, having goals is essential for youth as it provides them with motivation, personal growth, direction, resilience, time management skills, a sense of accomplishment, self-efficacy, and a vision for the future. Setting and pursuing goals can empower youth, helping them become proactive, purpose-driven, and successful individuals.