The first difficult transition that every scholar makes is a transition to high school. They are becoming of age and start expressing themselves in many different ways. They may be going away from home, changing to schools outside their hometowns, villages and townships. They may start traveling long distances, etc. They start feeling independent from home control. The parents start becoming jittery about the conduct of the children. If they have never engaged mentors, this is the time to do so. The high school education mentors are experienced in dealing with young adults at this level of education.
At this level the children are naive in thinking that they can be independent. It is at this stage that a lot of life mistakes are made. The adolescent stage kicks in, and hormones take control. School work is competing with other emotional interests. The youth have the tendency to start defying their parents.
The parents and teachers are advised not to be hard in interacting with the youth. Mentors should be the go between and engage the youth on their self experience they are making, especially the relationships with opposite gender. If not assisted the youth could be swept away by the craziness of being in first love. The aim of the mentorship is to help them enjoy exploring their new self without upsetting their parents and becoming sexually active. They must be made to use their educational success as a basis of relating their opposite gender, e.g. encouraging them doing school work together with their fellow opposite gender schoolmates.
You want the scholars to be crazy about doing well in grade twelve long before they even enter that grade. Early in grade eight (RSA) they must already see grade twelve (RSA) as the milestone to achieve. The pressures must be felt already. The mentor is there to make them focus at this milestone. This does not mean that they should be discouraged to have fantasies. That is part of life and belongs especially to their stage in human development. They must just be assisted to still have space for other serious aspects of life. They must be victors of their own youth challenges like, drugs, adolescent stage, crime, early and unplanned pregnancy, alcohol abuse, etc.
The mentor, teachers, and parents must sell the beautiful future that is only based on them successfully going through all the milestones that lead to that future. Excitement that comes as a result of opportunities through education like overseas studies, studying at the best colleges and universities, qualifying for the best scholarships in the country and the world, accessing modern and best careers as a result of the best degrees chosen, etc.
Choice of study directions, degrees, and careers must be integrated into their holistic human capital development journey. They are all the components of success in life. And success is a journey and fully integrated process that needs full attention at the individual level.
At this stage the youth are introduced to the understanding that they are part of a collective. There are many stakeholders in their lives who have more vested interest in their future than they may think. Their parents are not the only ones that are important to them. The country as a whole is concerned about their future. Extended family members, peers, friends, and their communities are one way or another affected by their failures and successes. So, you build many reasons why they cannot afford to mess up. You make them understand that the stakes are high.
The projects that the mentor may keep them preoccupied with could include, among others the following: searching for universities they are going study in the future, studying various degrees or diplomas they may study toward, sourcing scholarships long in advance, potential overseas institutions they may study at, what it would take for them to be accepted at this institutions, what grades they must achieve to be accepted and be awarded scholarships, the industries and sectors that their line of studies will lead them to, the role models that followed their desired education route and where they landed in life, etc.
The mentor should guide the youth at this stage to take keen interest in extramural activities like sport, art, dance, athletics, music, community clubs, youth clubs, church activities, etc. That is the most effective way to negotiate them away from destructive activities. They must be kept busy together with their peers, including the opposite sex.
In conclusion, this is a partnership between all the stakeholders, with the mentor occupying much prominent slot in the youth’s holistic human capital development journey.