5 Minutes, 5 Questions : Kaylee McHale

Where are you from:
Rugby, a small town in the midlands.

What are you studying:
I am currently a third year MGeogSci student (Geography BSc integrated Masters).

Where are you mentoring:
I have the pleasure of mentoring at two schools! So, I began at Sheffield Park Academy in Sheffield and then was lucky enough to be welcomed at Clifton Community School in Rotherham as well a few months ago.

270A2074.JPGWhat made you want to become a mentor:
I myself am from a ‘disadvantaged’ background and didn’t know anyone who had gone to university when I was in high school. If it weren’t for one of my teachers taking an interest in what I was doing, and them, along with my parents, encouraging me to push myself and aim high, I wouldn’t be here at the University of Sheffield now! I’m aware that not every student has this encouragement, but the US in Schools Mentoring scheme allows high school students to meet current students, who aren’t all that dissimilar to themselves, whom can provide this encouragement and enthusiasm!

There are so many myths about the ‘barriers’ into higher education for students who come from backgrounds similar to my own. I wanted to show these students that it is possible to go to university, that it isn’t out of your grasp because of how much money your family has nor where you were born. University isn’t just about financial and academic success, it’s so much more than that. The one lesson my teacher drilled into me was; It is okay to fail, just learn from those mistakes and keep pushing up- and onwards! I want all students to have this encouragement too!

What is the best thing about mentoring so far and what are you most looking forward to:
Working with the staff, especially the coordinators, at both schools has been a real highlight. They truly are the unsung heroes! They have such enthusiasm and truly want to see every student strive for and achieve their very best. So thank you to them! Obviously, working with all my mentees has been wonderful. They are a lovely bunch, even the cheeky ones, and it has been wonderful to see them develop and fine-tune the skills they already possessed, as well as gaining a few extra ones.

I am really sad that it’s the end of the academic year already! The time seems to have flown by, but I am extremely excited to do this all over again next year in a new school. I am also hoping that I will be able to hear about my mentees success in the future, I know they’re all bright sparks and are going to go far! Good Luck, and thank you for having me!

If you would like to take part in ‘5 Minutes 5 Questions’ then drop us a tweet @SheffOutreach and we will be in touch

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