SAYes Blog: Mentorship Musings

SAYes Transition Mentoring

Congratulations to our 2018 SAYes Mentoring Grads!

Mentors , Dec 04, 2018

SAYes is thrilled to announce that 98 young people have graduated from the 2018 SAYes Mentoring programme. This year’s graduation is particularly meaningful, as we are also celebrating the 10-year anniversary of SAYes. To think that we started with only 15 mentees and have grown to graduating nearly 100 this year is absolutely exhilarating! And yet, we know there is still so much more work to do and so many more young people to reach.

As most of you are likely aware, SAYes provides a structured, formal mentoring programme for youth growing up in challenging circumstances who are preparing to transition into adulthood. We match young people with volunteer mentors and provide a framework and ecosystem of specialised staff and resources to support the mentorship process. SAYes believes that the guidance, advocacy and support provided by mentors is key to preparing young people for adulthood and inspiring meaningful social change.

Each year, the SAYes graduation honours the courageous work of our mentees and their mentors after they successfully complete a year in the programme. Mentors and mentees undergo SAYes’ specialised mentorship training and then meet for weekly mentorship sessions. Throughout the year, mentors and mentees also attend life skills workshops designed by our staff to guide mentees towards improving independence and well-being as they approach adulthood. The graduation celebrates mentor and mentees’ dedication to each other and to the mentorship process, as well as to their own personal growth and well-being.

Michelle Potter (left) and Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa (right)

We were privileged to have renowned South African business executive and SAYes Mentoring Patron, Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, as a featured guest speaker at the graduation. She shared stories about the critical role that relationships and mentorship played in her life. From when she was starting her career in finance in New York and unexpected mentors helped her open doors and find new opportunities, to more recently when she suffered a stroke and the care and support of those around her encouraged her to recover and continue advancing towards her dreams.

“It is so important to seize the moment and take advantage of opportunities that arise because life is short and unpredictable,” said Ms. Mahanyele-Dabengwa. “I applaud all SAYes mentees for the incredible work they have done, and everything I know they are going to do with the bright futures that lie ahead of them.”

Call for Mentors 2019

With the 2018 programme coming to a close, we’re now recruiting mentors for our 2019 programme. Individuals in the Cape Town area who are interested in making a positive impact in their community, working with young people, and pushing their personal development boundaries are encouraged to attend a no-commitment information session, and/or apply to become a mentor.

As our founder and executive director, Michelle Potter, puts it: “Entire societies are strengthened when mentors and mentees come together across generational and socio-economic lines to grow together and learn from each other. Anyone interested in taking an active role in this type of social change should consider becoming a SAYes mentor.”

Further information on information sessions and the mentor application process is available online at

more from


Cherry Attends the Inaugural SAYes Networking ‘Mixer’

SAYes held its first networking ‘mixer’. I found it to be such a worthwhile event and I know I wasn’t alone - Cherry

Read More

Meet the New SAYes Blog: Mentorship Musings

Stories and insights on youth and mentoring from SAYes. - SAYes Team

Read More