Mentoring Program for Teens with CP

Back to blog2 years ago by Jodie
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Thredbo ski trip selfie
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For the past 5 years the ING Foundation has been supporting our Ignition Mentoring program for teenagers with CP.

After returning from the group’s annual ski trip, Shannon Carruth and her colleagues were full of praise for how the program was run and its power to inspire and change lives (for both mentors and mentees).

‘This year was my 5th ‘Intensive Mentoring Week’ and it again proved how powerful the program is.

It is always so special to experience first-hand the friendships that are formed and the progress made by the mentees. This can only happen if the right conditions are created for those outcomes to be achieved.

Kirsten from Cerebral Palsy Alliance did an amazing job organising a large and diverse group of people with varying needs. It was obvious she had put a lot of time and effort into planning the week and that made everyone else’s jobs so much easier.

When everyone knows what is expected of them, the role they need to play, and they are provided with the tools they require to do it- magic happens.

But, as we all know with events, no matter how much planning you do things happen. Kirsten and her team dealt with whatever was thrown at them and never lost their cool (well not in front of me anyway!).

You rolled with the punches and just got on with it. You are a pleasure to work with. Without all the hard-work you put into the week in planning and without your leadership during the week none of that magic could have happened, so thank you.

I wanted to pass on some of the feedback I have received from some of our mentors who took part in last week’s Thredbo trip …

It was just so amazing to see how the 5 days trip helped us build trust and shared memories.

There were magical moments (the word “magical” keeps coming up to my mind when I think of the trip) that I was so honoured to witness, including Leo’s famous dancing move & speech!   When Leo stood up to give speech in front of everyone on the final night, I could feel the intensity in the air that each one of us was excited about his transformation and warmly waited for his next big step (the speech!).  Seeing the entire group united, I was so moved and my vocabularies are too limited to describe how great it was.

The trip gave us the quality time to spend together, I was so happy to see Nick’s enthusiasm towards his dream & sharing that with me, Brenden’s soft side & shy smile, girls making good friends with each other and having girls’ talk, and who would have thought playing UNO could attract that much scream and laughter? :P”

Through this program it has given me a confidence boost, allowed me to understand differences, (whether it’s cultural, disability, or simply dealing with different personalities); it has taught me patience and given me a much more determined outlook on life. Especially the recent ski trip seeing the kids accomplish these challenges and goals gives a bigger perspective on my own challenges and goals. I now have the attitude that anything is possible if you give it a go and keep on trying.

Absolutely AMAZING experience. Such a fantastic program, words alone can’t justify the sense of enjoyment/achievement you get out of it. To all my fellow mentors…you all did an amazing job, whether you realise it or not you have changed someones life for the better! Bring on the rest of the program!”

Find out more about our award-winning mentoring program for teenagers with cerebral palsy.