Mercy Ade is an A-Level student who grew up in the heart of Hackney. Instead of being a statistic of negative youth culture, Mercy grew up to have a short film about healthy eating on ITV and is now on her way to study Digital Design at University. She is currently a Mentee at Envision Changes.
Do you think crime rates will be lower if there were more mentors?
It depends on the person, a lot of gang members have role models, but their role maidens aren’t the best candidates. For example a higher role within the gang hierarchy and they look up to them because they think they are ‘cool’. If they were to get a mentor they would say wow you're cool I want to look up to you the same way that they would the gang member.
I feel like younger people who have newly joined are the most impressionable so with a mentor it could help drive them out of being in a gang especially since a lot of youngsters like the idea of being close with or knowing an older person.
How has your mentor helped you?
Mentors have helped me by advising me and giving me support when I am unsure of some things, for example my university application. In terms of CV and personal statement, I looked through and helped me. In terms of business ideas she helped me make a logo and helped give advice on launching it.
Why do you think your friends do not have a mentor ?
They haven’t had a mentor come and say do you want me to mentor and it’s not something they go out looking for. More people would if they knew how to ask for one, however not a lot.
Do you think that mentoring helps youths and how?
If the youths are willing to be helped then mentoring can be very helpful. It gives them advice and support to help them grow and progress as a person. If they are not willing to be helped then it can be useless.
If Mentoring was popular amongst youths, which areas ?
A youth to me is someone between the ages of 13 & 19. In terms of their options in the future career wise and university, apprenticeships. Schools do a bit but don't do enough. A lot of people are left confused.