GGT Feature: Get to Know Youth Mentor Shao
Hola, I am Shiela Marie Lato and the kids call me “Ate Shao”. I am one of the loud and proud youth mentors of GGT FundLife-Cebu. I have been working with FundLife Cebu since March 2022, and hopefully, I will be here for eternity and beyond. My favorite task with the children in the community is to conduct community mentorship sessions with the highly vulnerable girls in my assigned barangays and at the same time handle entrepreneurship pathways with Young Women at Sambag 1, Cebu City.
What is the most memorable experience you have had at GGT?
One of my most memorable experiences working with the girls was when they were fighting in the midst of the session, it was a little challenging for me to deal with the situation, yet, I was able to handle it well for I believe that there are no bad child/children, it is just an undesirable behavior that needs to be corrected and guided well. This, I think, is one of the most essential duties of a youth mentor. On the other hand, my most memorable experience during the entrepreneurship pathway with the young women of Sambag 1 was the time when we put up the Community Pop-up Kitchen, and it was indeed amazing to sell vegan affordable meals in whatever form of marketing. Seeing the young women doing their best in selling despite the hot temperature was one of the best highlights of that event.
Being a youth mentor in FundLife-Cebu is a lifelong learning. I need to be more patient and be more compassionate. I admit that it is not that easy to handle adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) with different personalities, so as much as possible, I would always respect them, listen to them, and assist them.
Working at FundLife was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. It gives me a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious feeling. I am happy with my job, I am surrounded by amazing and inspiring people, I see no toxicity in the workplace and I am always proud that I am part of the FundLife family.
What does your normal workday look like?
My community mentorship session with the girls is scheduled every Saturday. During that day, I wake up as early as 5:30 AM to prepare myself for the full-day session. It will start exactly from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon for the first community and another session from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for the next community. During the weekdays, I do follow-up visits with the TVL Young Women at DMDP and finish office work such as making PowerPoint presentations and narratives, and assist the team when necessary.