Mutually beneficial

Mentor Courtney Marshall with students Pacey Lovell, Charlotte Pitcher, Archie Dillon and Katarina Harper.
Mentor Courtney Marshall with students Pacey Lovell, Charlotte Pitcher, Archie Dillon and Katarina Harper.

The Edith Cowan University student mentored five primary school students aged five to 10 through the School Volunteer Program last year and will volunteer again this year.

‘Each of the students I’ve worked with have had different needs ” whether it’s help with school work or spelling, or learning to interact with their peers and develop empathy,’ Ms Marshall said.

‘It’s rewarding when one of your mentees proudly shows you their latest spelling test results, or when you see one of the students playing happily with a group of friends in the playground.

‘The whole experience has just been great fun, and I am really looking forward to working with my new mentees this year.’

Starting her third year of a degree in marketing, advertising and public relations at both ECU campuses, the Mindarie resident found she could fit mentoring around her studies because it took place during the school day, and at one location, Quinns Rocks Primary School.

The not-for-profit venture’s chief executive Craig Stewart said tertiary students made great mentors for young children, doing so in the school environ- ment.

‘Uni students make great mentors for these kids, as they are old enough to provide support and guidance, and young enough to have fun and relate to children,’ he said. ‘Most volunteers will tell you that they get as much out of their volunteering as their mentees do.’

Potential volunteers can contact their university’s volunteer co-ordinators or visit communities.wa.gov.au.