catalystAs our 2020/21 mentoring programme draws to a close, we have been receiving some fabulous feedback and stories from our catalysts.

This month Amran, Ewa, Freya, and Maggie all share with us what they learnt from last year’s Catalyst Summit, their experiences of the mentoring programme and some of their goals for the future.

I’m 17 and am in my last year of A-levels at school in Bristol, where I’m studying Psychology, Biology and Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics). I’m Head Student for Culture and Diversity Awareness, which promotes inclusion across all minority groups. We’ve led assemblies, organised events, and set up different societies. Most recently, I’ve been helping to decorate the school library with quotes from BAME authors. – Amran

I am 18 years old, I was born in Poland and moved to the UK at a very young age. Catalyse Change encouraged and inspired me to study conservation at university, that is what I am currently working towards. My hobbies are climbing, protecting the wildlife and volunteering locally to conserve the green spaces we have left. I also love the outdoors and think we should respect and care for it. – Ewa

I’m 22 and a recent Biology graduate currently living in Greater Manchester. I work as a teaching assistant and will begin a MSc in International Development: Environment and Climate Change in September. I love sustainable fashion, music and fighting extractive capitalism 😊 – Freya

What would your dream job be?

I think my dream job is working with the UN or another big organisation involved in international policy. I’m not too sure which specific field yet. – Amran

I would love to work for an organisation working to reduce their environmental and human impacts. I don’t know what this will look like yet but I am primarily interested in sustainable supply chains, resilient communities and climate change preparedness. I also love communicating environmental and social issues and would like to work to drive positive change in these areas. – Freya

My dream job is to be a barrister working in environmental or human rights law. One of the things I learnt on the Summit was that one way to make a difference is through fundamental change e.g. working in the law. – Maggie

Why did you come on the Catalyst Summit and Mentoring programme?

I love the goals of the organisation and liked that there was a space where people really cared about a sustainable future that I could be part of. – Amran

I really want to be able to make a difference in the world. When I researched the Catalyst Summit it seemed like a perfect opportunity to develop myself and also surround myself with other women who want to make a difference too. – Maggie

I wanted to make the most of my gap year and broaden my experiences. Catalyse Change was a great opportunity to learn more about the practicalities of working in sustainability and the diversity of roles and industries. – Freya

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What was your overall experience of it?

“My Experience was lovely, I met so many powerful, thoughtful, like-minded women it was an honour to be part of it and feel included. Before catalyse change I had never been on a course like it and I would highly recommend it even if it was predominantly online due to covid. I would have much preferred it if it was face to face. I remember each time I came off the meeting I would feel so positive and want to make a change. – Ewa

Catalyse Change was undoubtedly one of the best things I did in 2020, and is still benefiting me in 2021. I found it so empowering to meet young women who share my passion for a sustainable future. My confidence has grown, my awareness of the issues we face has grown and I feel part of a supportive community. I also have a much better idea about where I want my career to go.” – Freya

“The Catalyst Summit was one of the highlights of my 2020! I really enjoyed each of the days and the other women there were wonderful and made the experience even better.” – Maggie

Has it had any impact on your day-to-day behaviour?

“I think that’s made me a bit more open minded about things. There’s so much I didn’t know about that I’m more curious and aware that there are many unknown unknowns.” – Amran

“Yes it has, I feel more confident and know that my future career is definitely in the sustainable environment sector.” – Ewa

What three things did you like about it most?

  • The community, the content and the support – Amran
  • The People because they are supportive and friendly. The talks with the head of the green party and the like as I got an insight of the wider world and its opportunities. And the separate talk rooms we got to discuss in and learn alot about the chosen topic and each other. – Ewa
  • I enjoyed the different speakers each week. I felt that I really learnt a lot from them. I enjoyed meeting the other women on the programme. I also enjoyed the relaxation sessions each Friday – I still follow the morning routine Traci suggested on one of the sessions! – Maggie

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If you already have feedback on the mentoring, please include a sentence or two on your experience or mentoring and how it has helped you?

I have one more mentoring session I think. My mentor has been absolutely brilliant! I’ve had so much career support and help with university applications. I’ve also learnt a lot of life lessons from her and have thoroughly enjoyed the mentoring experience. – Amran

Mentoring has helped me alot with university applications, and volunteering. It also gave me the confidence to get the job I currently have. It was also nice to be mentored by a person who has previously been to university so they could give advice. Ewa

My mentor has helped me immensely with managing my time and motivation. I have become much more self-aware and now plan my days and weeks around my energy levels and how urgent/important a task is. She has also helped me feel more grounded and less panicked. As a recent graduate during a pandemic, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you’re not doing enough, catalyse change and my mentor has helped me gain perspective and continue to pursue my goals while coping with a tumultuous time. – Freya

Do you have any other comments you would like to share?

“I would like to say thank you soo much as I learnt alot from it and had alot fun. It also made me feel like I belonged to something even if only for a short time. And I would not have met so many incredible, inspiring, awesome women out there! It also made me more aware about what affects the environment like palm oil plantations and buying clothes.” Ewa

My confidence has grown, my awareness of the issues we face has grown and I feel part of a supportive community”  Freya

To join our waitlist for this year’s Catalyst Summit and mentoring programme please email Traci traci@catalysechange.com