‘I’m truly grateful’ - Gabe benefits from school’s mentor match programme

Gabe Boon (L) a Year 13 sixth form student at King's Ely has been supported for the last 12 months

Gabe Boon (L) a Year 13 sixth form student at King's Ely has been supported for the last 12 months by architectural designer Monika Olanrewaju as part of the school's mentor match programme. - Credit: King's Ely

A sixth form student at King’s Ely says he is “truly grateful” for the help he received from his mentor when it came to applying for his university course. 

Gabe Boon has been supported for the last 12 months by architectural designer Monika Olanrewaju, as part of the school’s successful mentor match programme. 

The programme is an initiative which enables sixth form students at King’s to join forces with a professional in a field that they are keen to pursue at university. 

It has been running for several years now, but a recent campaign to involve a larger number of mentors has resulted in more Year 13 students than ever drawing on knowledge and experience from professional graduates. 

Gabe, who joined King’s in Year seven, will be receiving his A-Level results in a few weeks’ time. 

He’s already received several conditional offers to study Architecture at university. 

He said: “Monika has guided me through the process of applying to university by providing resourses to help me learn more about architecture as a profession. 

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“When deciding which universities to apply to, Monika’s network of connections with other architects and students across the country was incredibly helpful and reassuring.” 

Monika heard about mentor match through a member of staff at King’s and, having passed the necessary safeguarding assessments, was able to support Gabe. 

She said: “Having contributed to successful internships in previous practices, I was keen to explore King’s’ mentor match to expand my outreach and encourage students to pursue architectural education.” 

Gabe says that when it came to Monika helping him with his portfolio, she knew “exactly what admissions teams would be looking for”. 

“It gave me a massive advantage in my application that I am truly grateful for,” he said. 

“Most importantly, Monika helped me clarify a lot around the subject with general and specific questions, which has made me far more aware of architecture and its challenges.” 

He added: “Monika was more than willing to share her expertise and experience with me, for which I am truly grateful.” 

Monika says she is excited to see Gabe succeed in studying and have a fulfilling career. 

“I would strongly recommend other professionals to get involved in local mentoring programmes and to foster young talent,” she said. 

If you are interested in supporting King’s’ mentor match programme, email gillsmith@kingsely.org.