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My Mentor Made Me Dream Bigger and Believe in Myself

Feb. 29, 2016

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Do you think you’re going to become the next Michael Kors? And you do understand that fashion is an industry where almost no one can get a job? When Rina was about to choose her secondary school program, the people around her made her doubt which path to take, but then she met her mentor Cecilia. Cecilia made her believe in herself and encouraged her to follow her dream.

- I had given up and I didn’t have the courage to apply for the program I wanted to. Cecilia made me believe that I could do it and she taught me that when you do something you think is fun, then you’ll succeed.

Today, Rina Sheba is in her second year of the secondary school program of textile design. Cecilia Jonsson works as Label Responsible at Hennes & Mauritz. Rina and Cecilia met in December 2013 and although their mentor-year is over the mentorship has not ended.

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It's nice to be able to talk with Cecilia when I have things that I don’t want to talk about with my friends. Cecilia has more life experience.

Eight years ago, Cecilia moved from Gothenburg to Stockholm for work. That same year, Rina came from Syria with her family and ended up in Stockholm. Despite their different upbringings, the mentor couple share the same values, sense of humour and love for food.

Rina says that Cecilia has taught her that you don’t have to get into a conflict about everything, and that sometimes it is better to take a deep breath and ignore what people say. 

Cecilia explains that through the mentorship she has been reminded of how she was at Rina's age and that it has made her more open-minded.

Our mentoring relationship wasn’t just for a year. We still have each other and it will be so much fun to follow her progress. I look forward to seeing Rina walking down the red carpet, says Cecilia.

Rina and Cecilia are one of 1 000 mentor-couples put together by Mentor Sweden in 2014.

With the support of H & M Conscious Foundation, Mentor Sweden has the possibility of giving young people like Rina stronger self-esteem and self-confidence. Hennes & Mauritz staff are encouraged to get involved as mentors and job mentors.

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