A couple of years ago, I was invited to be an Ambassador for Ozchild (www.ozchild.org.au).

Ozchild has a history of helping children from underprivileged environments since 1851 and now has a group of 500 volunteers and around 170 staff.

Yesterday I had the privilege of being invited to participate in a new program to mentor children from the Ozchild program.

As a strong believer that children deserve the best opportunities in life and we should all help to ensure that all Australian children have the basics of a roof over their heads, a hot meal every day and the love and support of people around them, I proudly hosted the event at YVE for the group.

As a group of 20 people participating in the pilot program arrived, I was astounded at how enthusiastic these bright children were and their attitude towards participating in a program whereby they are mentored by entrepreneurs and business leaders.

I chatted freely with the children and many of whom found that they would do anything to have a job, let alone be mentored, made me realise how easy it is to help those around you just by giving them your time.

A few wanted to be in IT, some in business and the young girl that I will be mentoring, a model or administration worker. Careers that have futures, that are in demand and that are very achievable.

Bec, the young, bright and enthusiastic 16 year old who had travelled an hour to meet me, was more than I expected. She asked me questions about myself and how I had achieved what I have. Where did I start, how did I get there, do I travel, have I been on a plane… the questions just rolled in. She was as interested in me as I was in her.

I felt privileged to be able to have the opportunity to spend time with this delightful young girl who just wants a chance and a little bit of experience. She opened up about her dreams and desires, her set-backs (we all have these!) and how motivated she is to make the most of this unique opportunity.

I really hope I don’t fail her in giving her the right experience and inspiration to achieve her dreams.

In two weeks time I will commence the first two-week period of having Bec come and work with me at Marketing Eye. Her voice is clear and confident, so she will probably answer the phone, do some typing, filing and get an overview of what we do as Marketing Managers for our clients.

From the model front, I am not quite sure what to do because its not really my field. I know a few models and of course I hire them for commercials and various media promotions we do, so hopefully I can connect her to someone in the industry that can tell her more about a career in this area.

Being an Ozchild Mentor is about giving up 2 hours a month and having a child come and work with you for a period of 4 weeks in total. Not much if you can change someone’s life and give them an opportunity.

I am excited and hopefully there is something in Bec’s work experience that will set her off in the right direction for success. I think this young lady has the right attitude and I can see success in her eyes. She sparkles when talking about her dreams and how hard she is prepared to work to achieve them. Something inside me says that in a few years time, I am going to be hearing about this girl and what she has achieved in the newspapers. She just beems enthusiasm and is looking for a bit of guidance and an opportunity.

I am sure I will learn as much from her as she will from me – and that’s what it is all about. This journey is as much for me as it is for her. I always had mentors and they inspired me in so many different ways that to be able to give back to someone like Bec is awesome.

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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