Lesson 1 for 100 mentors project

Inspiring and motivating through life and work experiences is the aim of the 100 Mentors initiative that held its first session with school and university students on Monday.
Shamma Al Mazrui, left, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, said the idea of the 100 Mentors programme was to inspire, intrigue and inform young people about their futures. Victor Besa for The National
Shamma Al Mazrui, left, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, said the idea of the 100 Mentors programme was to inspire, intrigue and inform young people about their futures. Victor Besa for The National

DUBAI // Inspiring and motivating through life and work experiences is the aim of the 100 Mentors initiative that held its first session with school and university students on Monday.

Encouraging them to achieve their dreams and contribute to their country was the focus of Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, at the programme held at Dubai Men’s College.

“This is to share our experiences, whether personal or mostly work experience, to guide them through their career whether in college or after,” said Ms Al Kaabi.

“Listening to them directly, face to face, also helps me understand their challenges. It’s not just about what they will learn but also what we will learn from them to pave the way forward. It’s about what motivates them.”

Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said the remaining 99 sessions would strive to continue to build bridges between youth and their role models.

“The idea is for the youth to be inspired, intrigued and informed. This is a youth-led initiative.”

The talk did fuel one Sharjah secondary school pupil’s ambition to be a minister.

“I want to one day walk with them and be with them; nothing is impossible for the youth,” said Latifa Al Maazmi, 17.

“I want to develop my country and put my own print here and pay back my country for what it has given me.”

Her friend Maitha Al Suwaidi was struck by how approachable both ministers were.

“I feel really motivated and encouraged to focus on my goals,” said Ms Al Suwaidi, 16, who plans to be an author.

“Seeing two people I look up to be so humble was really good. I always wanted something to motivate me because sometimes you feel a little lost trying to succeed at what you’re passionate about.”

For university business student Hamad Al Majid, the programme helps him understand the outside world.

“This helps us become more open minded, gather information from lots of people and take in all their experience of 20 to 30 years in one session,” he said.

One hundred prominent Emiratis have been nominated to mentor youth as part of the programme.

rtalwar@thenational.ae

Published: September 26, 2016 04:00 AM

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