Without supportive role models, so many girls will not achieve their full potential. If people do not believe a girl can achieve greatness, it will be significantly harder for her to get there. During Maiden’s previous World Tour, The Maiden Factor worked with partner charities that support girls’ access to an education. One of the charities was The Girls’ Network, who aim to inspire and empower girls aged 14-19 from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of positive female role models.
Amy 17 from Eastbourne joined The Girls’ Network mentoring programme when she was in year 10 at Causeway School and is now on her way to realising her dream of becoming a patisserie chef.
Amy says that her mentor is responsible for helping her to transform from a girl who was painfully shy and lacked confidence and self-belief which was preventing her from pursuing her dream career, into a determined, confident and ambitious young woman who is on her way to building a successful career as a chef.
Amy’s severe shyness and complete lack of confidence was holding her back from following her heart when it came to the career she wanted to pursue because she was so worried about being rejected. She knew what she wanted but was too afraid to put herself forward because she didn’t believe she had the skills she needed to succeed.
However, following her mentoring journey, Amy has transformed into a confident, determined, ambitious and outward going young woman, who is excited about her future and not afraid to grasp opportunities that come her way.
From a young age Amy knew that her future lay in cooking but was unsure how to convert her passion into a career. When she heard about The Girls’ Network in an assembly at school, she jumped at the opportunity to get involved. She turned to her mentor for advice, support and confidence coaching and knows that if she is ever feeling overwhelmed, she has not only her mentor to turn to but an entire network.
Amy commented, “I really don’t know what I would’ve done without my mentor. I was so painfully shy and lacked any sort of confidence before I joined The Girls’ Network and that it was really holding me back from believing that I had a future as a chef. I knew exactly what I wanted to do after my GCSE’s, but my fear of rejection and my lack of self-belief was preventing me from applying for the course I wanted to do.
“My mentor helped me realise that I had a great deal of talent and skills to offer the catering world which helped me to believe in myself. She also taught me how to project myself in a confident and charismatic manner, even when I was feeling nervous underneath. I was able to use these skills in my college interview and secure a place on the course I only ever dreamed of. Now I am on a pathway to pursuing a career as a pastry chef and really believe I can become a success.
“I feel like joining The Girls’ Network was one of the best decisions of my life so far and it has made me into the person I am today. I am ambitious, determined and confident, although still shy and nervous underneath at times, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for The Girls’ Network.”
“I would recommend the experience to anyone who gets presented with the opportunity. It is not an experience you can ever lose from, you can only gain.”