The Mentoring Circles mentorship programme for UWC Dilijan students was put into motion in the 2015/16 school year by Laura Bailey, the then Country Manager for Armenia, Europe and Central Asia for the World Bank, as a way of supporting and inspiring those young women and men who have demonstrated their interest in the wider world by joining the United World College movement. It was designed to provide students with direct and informal access to professionals from a variety of different backgrounds with whom they can discuss and reflect upon key issues, focusing on how they can explore and exercise leadership in their own lives.
“The mentoring circles program at UWC was created when a few of the young women studying economics and global politics came up to me after an economics lecture I delivered to ask questions about how my life had brought me to do the work I do, and how I liked it. From that one conversation, a world of discussions and friendships was born ... creating a small ‘circle’ of safe space to talk about challenges, dreams, and ideas, to discuss the ways life offers us the opportunity to step up and lead, and how we find the courage to do so. The UWC students I have been privileged to mentor teach me things about commitment and optimism and service to the larger world, and I am happy that I can do the same for them.”
The Mentoring Circles Programme is:
- Groups organised into circles in order to break down hierarchies and nurture an atmosphere of trust.
- Mentors sharing their own life experiences in order to help the group by considering leadership and life through an examination of themselves.
- Free and open discussions aimed at stretching the students, encouraging them to step up and take responsibility, paving the way to leadership.
- A diverse pool of mentors that includes both expatriate and Armenian professionals with an international background in public, nonprofit service or the private sector.
- 12 mentors in the 2017/18 schoolyear.
- 4 meetings for each circle throughout the year: 2 spaced during each term.
Contribute to the development of the UWC Dilijan students by joining this rewarding programme and becoming a mentor!
“In a world where human interaction has been replaced by detached e-communication and career guidance and advice is taken from over-generalized YouTube videos, it is very easy for opportunities and personalized advice to seem like a distant myth. Being mentored by Laura Bailey, who not only shared her challenges and wins with us, but took time to get to know and understand us individually to give open ended advice for major life decisions, like university and starting afresh in new places, gave definite perspective to challenges to be expected, moments to cherish, opportunities to seize and most of all how to tackle the unfamiliar of the world.”
-Michelle, Zimbabwe, UWCD’17