Hannah’s Story - Ignite Mentoring

Image: Hannah [middle] standing with two other Ignite Mentoring colleagues at a Deloitte event.

Hannah, Volunteer Finance Manager at Ignite Mentoring

"Volunteering has shaped my life in so many ways and helped me to find so much purpose and fulfillment. I have volunteered with Ignite Mentoring since early 2021, giving me the opportunity to work with incredible students and get involved in a community of people who are passionate about making a difference. Ignite Mentoring is a student-run, not-for-profit organisation that exists to empower students to thrive, particularly students in low socio-economic high schools. They facilitate weekly classroom visits over a nine week program with the aim of developing student’s self confidence by fostering soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and perseverance.

I decided to get more involved in the organisation because I saw firsthand the impact all of our volunteers make on the lives of students. Being able to watch students grow in their confidence, gain new skills and develop career aspirations is truly one of the most rewarding experiences. The way Ignite Mentoring believes in the capabilities of each student and empowers them to realise their own potential is what drives my passion for this cause.

Each week stepping into the classroom as a coordinator I am consistently encouraged by the progress I see in students.

At Ignite Mentoring we celebrate the big and little wins, whether it is a quieter student having the confidence to share something in front of the whole class, a usually disengaged student loving an activity or a student sharing a career pathway they’re interested in as a result of one of our mentors sharing their story. Having an impact on the lives of vulnerable students is an invaluable opportunity.

We provide all of our programs, including excursions to WA university campuses at no cost to the students or the schools, to ensure that everyone can participate despite their financial situation. To ensure these operations our viable, as finance manager, it is my job alongside the incredible finance team to obtain funding for things like student transport, classroom resources and volunteer recruitment. This involves applying for grants and initiating/maintaining relationships with corporate sponsors. Volunteering in this domain was something that was very new for me but has been an incredible opportunity for growth and skill development while working within a dedicated and passionate team.

Not only does volunteering give you opportunities for skill development and learning, its also gives the opportunity to meet incredible individuals.

While the students we work with are absolutely the greatest source of motivation for volunteering, the rest of the Ignite Mentoring volunteers consistently inspire me to work harder and search for avenues for potential growth in our organisation. Working with the executive team, leadership team and co-coordinating a mentor group, I have met the most passionate and enthusiastic individuals. Each one of the volunteers within the organisation are fuelled by their passion to make a difference in the lives of students facing economic disadvantage. It is so exciting to see how the enthusiasm of our 100+ volunteers are making a difference in the community and towards the end of educational inequity.

Find something your passionate about and jump into a volunteer role wherever you can. The opportunities volunteering gives to step outside of your own comfort zone and explore the impact you can make on the community is invaluable!"