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International student intern finds meaning in mentoring

18 December, 2019

Shaaruna Selvasegaren put herself in the shoes of young children in need of extra support through mentoring during her McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship at 12 Buckets in Northlands.

The University of WA international student from Singapore said she never realised how important mentoring was to primary school-aged children until she saw it first-hand.

"My perspectives on the need for mentoring has changed,” the West Perth resident said.

“I am glad that in these 100 hours of my internship, I have given my best in the work that I did to make a difference in the lives of the mentees.

"These children perceive their schools and mentoring sessions as safe spaces where they can freely express their thoughts and pursue their interests or hobbies. Such children see their mentors as someone they can confide in.”

At the early intervention mentoring organisation, Ms Selvasegaren’s main project was to evaluate the various services of the One-to-One Mentoring Program and document her findings in an easy-to-read format.

The 22-year-old also researched other mentoring programs,designed a case study template so 12 Buckets could better gather quantitative and qualitative data, and created a training program for new mentors.

12 Buckets Chief Executive Director Nicki McKenzie said Ms Selvasegaren’s expertise and worth ethic were “amazing and much appreciated”.

“The work she has done will be used in making changes to our current workplace practices to ensure we are capturing the correct data which we can provide supporters,” Ms McKenzie said.

“As a charity that receives no government funding,we have not had access to someone in the area of Research and Policy Development until now.

“We are very grateful to the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program and would highly recommend this program to fellow organisations.”

Ms Selvasegaren said she was “delighted” to learn a new area of study in an in-depth and meaningful way,outside of her university degree.

“Knowing that my work done for 12 Buckets will be evaluated through and possibly be implemented to improve the overall quality of mentoring sessions to create the most positive outcomes for the mentees, is my most rewarding aspect," she said.