NO PRESSURE

My name is Scott and I am one of the expert youth mentors at The Mentoring Lab.

​We have just finished our two week long GAMETIME online programme – and it was amazing! I had the privilege to run the public speaking workshop, which if I’m honest – was a little nerve wracking! When I did the video promotion for it, I had to do at least 50 takes in different rooms in my house before I was happy with it. Originally, the public speaking workshops were going to be for just the first week. Myself and Hara, one of our incredible volunteers, weren’t exactly sure what to expect, especially for our first time at doing an online workshop – but we were confident and ready to have fun!

Our worries evaporated as soon as the first young person joined the call – it was awesome! It was great to connect with young people from across London, and it was an incredible opportunity to provide some fun and inspiration in the middle of what is quite a dark and uncertain time.

A challenge for the young people that ran throughout the session was to write a seven-minute speech to change the world – no pressure! But each and every young person came up with profound topics, smashing my expectations. The topics ranged from mutual respect, to discrimination, to even the environment. I came away from the sessions inspired by the vision of the young people, and their eagerness to not just learn, but to change the world.

After talking with some of the team, we extended the public speaking workshops for the next week – which wasn’t something I was expecting! It was great that the young people were engaging, and there was a buzz about the workshops on social media, but that wasn’t the big thing. The big thing was found in the feedback. The young people explained that they felt less anxious about their current situation, they were more prepared for when they may speak in public and more confident in themselves.

We recorded the speeches in the final session, and one of the young people turned her speech into a rap – which blew me away! It was a raw, powerful message about discrimination, and that was the ‘lightbulb’ moment for me. I wasn’t just putting on a workshop for young people, but I was playing a part in helping the world changers of today to find their voice.

And let me tell you – when they decide to use it, the world won’t be the same!

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