The West

Mentor helps students find their feet

A full-time study load does not deter Ilona Quahe from helping high school students find their place in the world.

The 22-year-old University of WA law and economics student runs Ignite Mentoring Inc, a volunteer group that works with high school students in disadvantaged areas.

"From my experiences in high school working with university students who ran extracurricular activities, I think it is important for high school students to have that opportunity," she said.

"We work on activities that build communication and teamwork skills."

Since Ms Quahe launched Ignite Mentoring in 2011, the group has grown to 60 mentors teaching 150 students.

The program, run in Balga and Hamilton Hill high schools, is a candidate for the Volunteering WA Volunteer of the Year Awards. Volunteering WA chief executive Mara Basanovic said this year's awards featured a new category - the people's choice.

"The people's choice award is about recognising unsung heroes who don't expect to be recognised," she said.

"It represents the spirit of volunteering in our community."

Nominations for the awards, which consist of eight categories, opened last week and close on March 21.

She said young people had become increasingly engaged in volunteering in recent times.

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The West Australian

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