Meet the Mentors: Delano Robinson-Stephens

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Meet the Mentors: Delano Robinson-Stephens

The Path to Evolve

Evolve is not Delano’s first venture into mentoring. Delano’s journey began in school when he participated in a football-based mentoring program designed to keep kids off the streets. At 18, he volunteered with that same organisation and did so well that he was offered a contract as a mentor within six-months.

Since then, Delano has worked in various mentoring environments, including supporting children with behavioural problems in schools and working in a SEND school. He was attracted to working for Evolve because of our Health Mentor Development Programme (HMDP) which mentors participate in to enhance their mentoring skills and better support their mentees. Now, after being with us for nearly a year, Delano has made significant strides with his mentees and is an invaluable part of our team.

Highlights of being a Health Mentor

One of the greatest aspects of Delano’s role is the freedom it gives him to support his mentees in the way they need it. Due to his experience, Delano’s school allows him the autonomy to focus on finding the best way to support the pupils.

Building connections with his mentees is at the heart of Delano’s work. Forming these bonds not only enriches their lives but also makes his job even more rewarding. Seeing his mentees grow and succeed is what drives him every day. Delano’s ability to make significant strides with his mentees and the meaningful relationships he builds are testaments to his dedication to providing support.

Challenges of being a Health Mentor

Like many of our Health Mentors, Delano often finds it difficult to leave one of his mentees. He always makes a strong effort to connect with the pupils on a more personal level and becomes deeply invested in their journeys. Telling them that they no longer need his support can be a difficult conversation, but Delano, like all of our Health Mentors, is trained in delivering exit sessions that minimise the impact of losing a Health Mentor and ensure that his mentees have all the skills they need to continue their development journeys he helped them start.

Significant Achievements

One of Delano’s biggest achievements over the past year at Evolve has been supporting a pupil who was struggling with disruptive behaviours and staying on task. After working with this pupil and forming a close bond with him, Delano was able to support him and many of the pupils’ teachers had seen a visible difference thanks to Delano’s work with him. One particular detail that truly shows Delano’s dedication to forming bonds with his mentees is that this specific pupil can always be found at the school gates in the morning waiting for him to arrive. This truly highlights Delano’s commitment to his mentees and the meaningful relationships he builds with them.

Why Health Mentors are so Important

Health mentors play a crucial role in schools by offering a unique and nurturing relationship with students. Unlike teachers, whose interactions often have to involve disciplinary measures, Health Mentors like Delano are able to foster a more personal connection with their mentees. They are more likely to be seen as friendly figures who provide support and guidance in a non-authoritative way. This bond allows mentors to understand and address pupils’ emotional and behavioural challenges effectively, creating a safe and supportive environment where students feel understood and valued. By building such relationships, Health Mentors not only contribute to pupils’ personal growth but also enhance overall school wellbeing.