Why you should consider being a Bridge Builders mentor
Mentoring is well-established as a route for personal and career development. It is deeply embedded as part of Enterprise's strategy both for individual success and also for contributing to diversity, equity and inclusion through community involvement.
This is where our relationship with Bridge Builders Mentoring is so important as it provides an opportunity for Enterprise employees to mentor young people from their local community.
Bridge Builders was founded by Clive Lewis OBE DL as a result of 2007's REACH report that highlighted socio-economic gaps of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Enterprise first met Clive at a MSDUK (Minority Supplier Development UK) event which also demonstrates the power of networking.
Bridge Builders Mentoring is a unique programme with an ambitious goal: to improve the social mobility and employability of young people, aged 10 and up, from disadvantaged backgrounds. It pairs them up with a mentor at a key life stage at the transition into secondary school, which is often a difficult time for many.
"I know as an adult how much there is to be learned from involvement with children who may often be from a very different background"
The partnership between Bridge Builders and Enterprise has extended from a pilot programme with a school in the West Midlands to a programme schools in other parts of the country, including the South East. Since 2015, Enterprise has had senior leaders on the advisory board, including Khaled Shahbo and Leigh Lafever-Ayer. Enterprise has now had more than 150 mentors mentoring over 360 students. Work Experience Days for students have also been very popular, enabling school children to get a close perspective on being at work.
"As a first generation immigrant arriving to the US at the age of two and a half, I know how much I would have benefitted from having an adult to talk to who was neither a parent nor a teacher," said Khaled. "I also know as an adult how much there is to be learned from involvement with children who may often be from a very different background. I consider it a privilege to be involved with the Bridge Builders programme, which it delivers so much for the young people being mentored and for their mentors.."
So how does Bridge Builders work, and how can you get involved?
Watch the video to find out more, then get in touch with your group HR for more information.