Mentor Project Officer Syd tells us why Daniel is our champion this month:
“Daniel was matched with his mentee for two main reasons; something he and his mentee had in common was the fact that they both moved to the UK as teenagers from Europe, and Daniel had just finished university while his mentee is very ambitious and wants to get to university.
Daniel is a fantastic listener. He takes in all of his mentees questions, always puts thought and care into his answers and takes the time to do research in order to give the most informed answer possible.
Best of all, Daniel’s mentee has been inspired by her experience as a mentee and is joining the next Sussex training to become a mentor herself. What a fantastic role model Daniel has been.”
A message from Daniel’s mentee
“Daniel is always very supportive and a very good listener. He gives me lots of great advice on topics that are important for me such as university life, independent living skills and self advocacy. I really enjoy talking to him and his support helped me to improve my confidence. He is a great role model for me in terms of what a visually impaired person can achieve in life and his experiences give me encouragement to achieve my ambitions in my life. He also inspired me to apply to become a mentor in the next training and I hope I can be as good mentor as Daniel in the future!”
“My name is Daniel. I lost my sight when I was 16, only two years before I moved to Brighton from Hungary. Since then, I graduated with a degree in physics, started my own start-up company, and also got a PhD. More recently, I joined the Global Disability Innovation Hub. I manage innovation activities, working with researchers and entrepreneurs. Last year, I also decided to volunteer with the LOOK UK team, to share my story and experiences with other young blind people, encouraging them to aim high.
I wanted to join the mentor programme for two reasons. Firstly, to help my mentees unlock their own potential, and nudge them towards being confident in achieving whatever they define as success. I suppose, my pay back for all the support I received 10 years ago and ever since. Secondly, I wanted to develop my own skills in listening and mentoring in a national, reputable, formal volunteer programme, or more generally to join the cool team at LOOK UK. My reward is to see my mentees accomplished, and hear them brag about their successes.
I recommend mentoring to anyone who is up for an easy, win-win volunteer opportunity. To me the key thing is to listen, and ask the right questions from mentees, which help them reflect and get a step further in their journey. They have it all in them, we just need to sign-post paths they can take.