Q&A With Our New Secretary General

Before the summer, Mentor announced its new Secretary General, Sara Revell Ford, who has now settled in her new role. Mentor Sweden’s Communications Team met with her over coffee to discuss her new position.

2 October 2019 | Other

What inspired you to join Mentor?

I am most passionate about Mentor’s mission. To make a difference for young people, especially ones who feel vulnerable, don’t have anyone to talk to or share their dreams and challenges. Every young person deserves a champion. As a young person, it is important to have role models, and through Mentor we can provide role models who really care. That feels inspiring!

What makes Mentor’s mission important to you?

My view is that everyone deserves the chance to feel good and to grow and develop in healthy and positive way. Unfortunately, too many young people miss out on this possibility. Therefore, it is important for us to step in and make an effort for young people in need. Mentor enables people on an individual level to make big difference in creating a stronger, more inclusive and prosperous society.

When did your interest for young people’s health begin?

I have always been committed to good citizenship. I have been most active with nature and the environment, exercise and outdoor life, but humanitarian issues and positive social development, especially regarding youth, have always been close to my heart.  At ‘Friluftsfrämjandet’ – a non-profit organization where I was Secretary General years ago – joy of movement for children and youth was a main focus. I am currently involved in a foundation called ‘En Frisk Generation’  – translated as ‘A Healthy Generation’ where our vision is to see to it that Sweden has the world’s healthiest children. I also sit on the board of Svenska Turisföreningen  – translated ‘the Swedish Tourist Association’ – where we focus a lot on youth issues. Simply put, I am – and have always been – committed to young people’s health.

What potential for improvement does Mentor have?

Let me start by saying that every organization has a potential for improvement. Mentor does great work and has an important mission that many people are invested in and affected by. At the same time, it is a relatively anonymous organization that needs more recognition and should be top of mind for more people – especially in Sweden. I believe there is more we can do both with visibility and expansion of our programs to reach more young people.

What do you wish to achieve as the new Secretary General?

I want to increase involvement in the Mentor movement. Two of my main objectives are to, firstly, advocate the need for young people to have a strong adult support and, secondly, invite more supporters – from companies to individuals – to provide and contribute to healthier youth development.

What are your hobbies?

I love being out in nature. I hike, bike or kayak as often as possible, especially with my children. This summer, my nine-year-old son and I biked the last stage along the Göta Canal, and my daughter and I paddled around Marvikarna (the three lakes) in Sörmland. There is so much to discover in Sweden and after having travelled a lot abroad, I have turned my curiosity and exploration joy much closer to home.

Hope this gives you a better picture of Sara and the direction that will drive Mentor forward in supporting a better future for young people.