IT expert Lovell believes in the power of sharing knowledge
When David Lovell first got into the IT business he was discouraged to find there were some professionals keen to keep their knowledge on computers to themselves.
After settling into his career he decided not to be that way and has spent the past few years mentoring young people interested in the trade.
One of his current mentees Kaje Matthie, 18, said Mr Lovell took him under his wing to show him the ropes in information technology.
The teenager said the support from his mentor has “lit up” his whole future and given him a new focus in life.
Mr Lovell recently took Kaje on a college tour in Toronto to show him what opportunities exist in the field and point him on the right path to becoming a certified IT professional.
Kaje now has his sights set on applying for a computer networking and technical support programme at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada.
The teenager said: “That’s my new dream to start college there and when I saw the [campus] and how everything works around there it made my interest rise to the peak.
“Just off the bat by looking at what they offer with the students and speaking to the teachers, there was a big difference between what they have and other schools, and it seemed the teachers were more willing to help.”
They started their mentor relationship after Kaje’s father found out he was interested in computers and asked Mr Lovell to teach him the basics.
Kaje joined two or three other young people to work on computers last summer in a greenhouse in his grandparent’s backyard, which they coined the ‘computer lab’.
They put an advertisement in the Yellow Pages and people would call them when they had a computer problem.
The young people would work together to fix the mechanics or Mr Lovell would lend a hand if the problem was more complex.
Kaje said: “We did lots of research as well because we were dealing with all sorts of computers: super computers, regular home PCs, laptops and all sorts of new and old technologies.
“When things became really difficult and we didn’t know what to do, we would go to David to get tips and proper guidance.”
Since getting to know one another, Mr Lovell said he has watched Kaje mature and get more confident. Although he doesn’t operate an official mentorship programme, he emphasised the importance of people using their skills to help others advance in life.
“I believe in the saying ‘Each one, teach one’, so if you get 1,000 good role models who can each take one then we would have all these positive young people in Bermuda.
“It doesn’t have to be IT, it can be anything you are interested in,” he said.
“Some of these young people come from rough homes and don’t really have access to the knowledge that is going to take them on to college or further. We are just trying to instil in them some self confidence so they can learn and believe in themselves.”
He said his mother Wendy Lovell encouraged him to give back to the community and he found from a young age that he enjoyed it.
The teen said his future is also looking brighter since figuring out which career path he wanted to take. He told
The Royal Gazette: “I have found focus after a while.
“Before whenever I experienced an emotionally stressful situation I used to keep things bottled up inside of me but I think having a mentor has helped me to become the person I am now.
“I feel like I am starting to find myself in life and doing something for once and making it.”
Mr Lovell encouraged other people who have graduated from college or attained a certain level in their careers to reach out to youth and set them on the right path.
“It’s not always bad things going on with our young people in Bermuda,” Mr Lovell said.
“There’s a lot who want to succeed, but there aren’t much role models, so the whole goal for me is to create a pool of positive role models for the young men of Bermuda.”
Young people interested in the IT profession can contact Mr Lovell on 536-6221 for support or guidance.