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The value of mentorship: Angel’s Young Ambassadors journey

With the help of her mentor Victor, Angel has been able to prosper as a young leader

When Angel George stood up in front of around 100 new Young Ambassadors at Pittodrie Stadium last year, she spoke about her journey through the Young Ambassadors programme with enthusiasm that infected the audience.

Grinning from ear to ear, Angel told a story of putting herself out of her comfort zone and realising her potential. Something that became absolutely clear about her time on the programme was that her mentor Victor had played an integral role in making her experience the absolute best it could be.

We sat down with both Angel and Victor to talk through that journey and how Angel was able to go from knowing next to nothing about the programme to putting herself forward for the Delivery Team and eventually opening and closing her local conference in Aberdeen.

The start of something big

“I was lucky enough to be selected as the Young Ambassador for my school Bucksburn Academy," Angel told us.

“It was only at the conference that I really grasped what the programme was all about, and I left feeling really inspired to make change in my school,” she added.

She told us that one of the best parts of her role was being able to branch out further than her school and make a difference in the wider community.

The programme has since opened doors of opportunity that Angel didn’t know existed.

A helping hand

Angel thanks Victor for the wide variety of things she has been able to get involved in. She told us:

“Victor always makes sure we know what’s out there for us to get involved in. As soon as he hears about an opportunity, he is straight on it to let us know which is really helpful.”

“And that works both ways,” Victor added. “It requires the Young Ambassadors to be willing to throw themselves into new opportunities and try new things, which Angel always has been.”

Delivery Team

Reflecting on her time with the programme, Angel without hesitation, told us that being part of the Delivery Team was her biggest highlight.

“It was Victor who initially told me about the opportunity and I was really eager to give back to the next wave of Young Ambassadors.”

Angel bravely put herself forward for the role of opening and closing one of the conferences when she attended the Young Ambassadors Delivery Team residential back in August 2023.

“The experience of doing that was just brilliant. I was so well supported and knew exactly what I had to do – I wasn’t thrown into the deep end at all.

“I wish I could do it all again,” she told us.

The value of mentorship

As Angel sat on the conference stage in Pittodrie Stadium chatting with host Rhona Mcleod and athlete Sheli McCoy, the story that unfolded was one of unwavering support from her mentor Victor. When asked about what that support had looked like throughout her time on the programme, she told us:

“Victor has always been so approachable and has given me the best support from the word go. I think that all the YAs that come under his responsibility would agree.”

Victor Omondi has been a mentor for 4 years and currently covers both Angel’s school, Bucksburn Academy, and Dyce Academy. Explaining how much he values his role as a mentor, he told us that his ultimate goal is to see his Young Ambassadors thrive and achieve what they set out to do.

“Seeing them enjoy their role, having those lightbulb moments, and really feeling proud of what it is that they’ve been able to achieve is the best part me for,” Victor told us.

“My role is to encourage them to see the bigger picture and realise the potential of their role; it’s not just about them or their class or even their school, they can really have a far-reaching impact,” he explained.

Reaching her potential

For Victor, Angel is a shining example of just how much can be achieved through the Young Ambassadors programme and he pins that to her willingness to ask questions, put herself forward for opportunities, and try again when things don’t quite go to plan.

He said:

“There was an incident near the beginning of Angel’s time on the programme where she had helped to organise a table tennis tournament and we were struggling to attract sign-ups. She really threw herself into fixing the issue, asking all the right questions and eventually taking action to open it up to more age groups.

“That ended up being a really successful event.”

The lasting impact

Those lessons of reacting and problem-solving when things don’t quite go to plan go hand in hand with the other soft skills that Young Ambassadors pick up along their journey. Victor explained that he always encourages his Young Ambassadors to see the value in what they have learned going forward into early adulthood whether that’s into college, university, or employment.

Reflecting on the personal impact of the Young Ambassadors programme, Angel said:

 “The programme has helped me to develop so many skills like leadership, planning, and organisation.”

“I’ve been able to be involved in so many different things whether that’s volunteering, planning my own events, working with younger children; things that I think will put me in a really good position when I leave school.”

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