POWERED BY FHI 360

Changing Priorities: Impact of the Four Pillars PLUS Mentoring Program

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When I was first enrolled as a student of Government Secondary School (GSS) Atu, I was determined to be a good student. However, as I made friends, my values changed. Suddenly I lost interest in academic work. I joined the group of boys called ‘The School Thirteen’. We roamed the school compound and streets of Calabar South wreaking havoc and intimidating girls during school hours.

Mr. Ferdinand (Mentor) Facilitating a Mentoring Session for Boys at GSS Atu, Calalabar

When I first heard of Four Pillars PLUS mentoring program, I waived it aside. However, my mentor- Mr Ferdinand urged me to join and I decided to give it a try. I am happy I made that decision. At the mentoring sessions, I was first taught about respect for self and others. I began to evaluate some of my behaviors and they did not fit into the values and qualities that are expected of mentees on the program. However, I was enjoying the program and so wanted to stay. The first thing I did was to reintegrate myself into school. I started sitting in class and can now proudly say I am a bona fide student of Government Secondary School, Atu.

I have learnt what makes one a leader and a team mate. I have participated in sessions with girls too and I had fun. I have begun to see girls differently- more as partners and friends than the subordinate sex. Girls are people I should treat with respect. My mentor is always watching out for me. Sometimes, I am tempted to slip into my old lifestyle but he is always there to caution me. I feel safe confiding in him. Most importantly, we have rules that guide us as mentees and I try to abide by them.

I have been taught what it means to be a real man. I want to be a man who is bold, kind, respectful, hardworking, standing up for others and taking responsibility for my actions. My priorities are changing every day. What matters to me now is setting realistic career goals and working towards achieving them. Thank you Four Pillars PLUS Project and thank you GE Foundation for what you are doing for young people like me.

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