The Youth Mentoring Network

Mentors | Volunteers

Mentoring Stories

Upside Youth Mentoring Aotearoa 

(Formally Brothers in Arms Youth Mentoring)

Welcome to life on the Upside! Our responsive mentoring relationships help young people feel a little brighter and more loved than they did yesterday.



Expanding Māori and Pasifika youth horizons – Great Potentials Foundation

MATES (Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme) is an Auckland-based programme, targeted to key transition stages in the schooling cycle. It supports low decile school students identified as being at risk of not reaching their academic potential to engage in positive learning experiences, by matching them with a tertiary student mentor/tutor. MATES started 14 years ago, drawing on Māori and Pasifika cultures and collaborating with Auckland University.

Programme Director Shana Malio-Satele, says the success of the MATES programme is built on the one-on-one mentoring relationship established over the 10 months of supervised, weekly after-school sessions. Mentors are carefully selected and trained, family engagement is a pre-requisite and achievement is celebrated at an end of year event for the mentees, their families and the mentors, along with sponsors who proudly acknowledge the work of MATES.

MATES - My journey as a mentor

6 August 2015

MATES-StoryMy name is Sarah McLean and I am a mentor for the MATES Senior programme. Last year I had the opportunity to mentor Lavei Vaiola, a lovely young woman from Onehunga High School. (Pictured with her mum, Kelei Tafuna and me at the MATES graduation ceremony)

At the beginning of our mentee-mentor relationship, as you could expect it was a bit awkward, as we adjusted to our roles that we both had never held before. As internals, due dates, sports games and the school ball flashed by, and the anticipation of externals and university ensuing I noticed something different about Lavei. She was not only taking critiques well, she was actually searching for critiques, to ensure she was doing the best she could. She was honing her maturity, responsibility and drive to succeed in a way that myself and the other mentors were thoroughly impressed with.

Wade Meads Luke Donnelly

Mentor ready to play role of 'big brother'

NZ Herald, April 2015

They've only just been matched but Lisa Beamsley reckons Wade Meads is the perfect big brother to her son.

Mr Meads is one of three mentors to have been matched in the Rotorua Big Brother Big Sisters programme. He and Ms Beamsley's son Luke Donnelly, 10, met for the first time last week and they have already made plans to go mountain biking.

Luke's father was Mike Donnelly, Lisa's partner of more than 30 years. He died from a brain haemorrhage when Luke was 7.

Big Buddy Helps Boys

North Shore Times

5 May 2015

by Racheal Clarke

Mum says strong male roles important

Adrean Gedge is the classic super mum.

The single mother with five children aged between 8 and 16, still manages to work and study as a pharmacist at Auckland University.

Money is tight, so every now and then the 35 year-old sets up market stalls just so they can have a family day out.

But the only thing she felt was missing in their lives in Birkdale was strong male role models for her four boys, Marcus, 8, Jeffery, 10, Carlos, 13, and DJ, 14.

Mentoring Initiative Success

powerup mentoringNZ Herald

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Vaimoana Tapaleao

Tyler McCarthy knows that in order to get to where he wants to be one day, he has to work hard now.

So when a mentoring programme started up at his church last year, he knew he had to get involved.

The 16-year-old, a year 12 student at Kelston Boys High, enrolled at the Pasifika Power Up station at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, in Te Atatu.

"It was good because it helped me to really focus. At home, it can be hard because my little brother and sister are always coming into my room.

"But at Power Up, I was with other kids who were focused too and were really wanting to pass their NCEA."

Click on this link to read the full story:

SCCZEN_A_090314NZHDPPASIFIKA03_620x310_optMentors make a difference

NZ Herald

Saturday 15 March 2014

Dionne Christian

Volunteers make a difference to communities throughout New Zealand, one young person at a time, finds Dionne Christian.

On any given weekends, all across New Zealand, there are people who are volunteering their time to guide and advise young people. These volunteer mentors belong to a raft of programmes (some home-grown; some international) which aim to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

Programmes may involve one-to-one mentoring or be in a group or community.

Click on link to read the full article: