‘It’s all about facilitating communities to shape change that is tailored to their needs’.

Raphael Olympio is an Occupational Therapy Student at University College Cork, facilitator and a youth mentor at the Cork Migrant Centre. Raphael was one of eight mentors that took part and received a certificate in Continuing Professional Development in Community Based Mentoring Programme at University College Cork. Through creativity, music writing and psychoeducation he works with young people to; build self-esteem, develop achievable goals, build healthy relationships equipping young people to further their self- development.


Deborah Aribasoye

My name is Deborah Aribasoye, but most people call me Debbie. I have a Nigerian background, but I was born and raised in Ireland. making me Nigerian Irish. I love music, food, fashion, and branding. I am a recent master’s graduate. I studied Public Relations and New Media before I studied Tourism Marketing Level 8 and Business & Tourism Level 7. But my transition into third-level education was not that easy. When I was in primary school, I really struggled with reading and spelling. My teachers and mom noticed this, and after several assessments and tests, I soon found out that I was dyslexic. As a young student, this caused me anxiety, which worsened when I entered secondary school. Apart from struggling with my learning difficulty and the anxiety that came with it, I also experienced racism from my teachers and peers. This made school a very hard place to be. But, thanks to my mother’s encouragement, I was able to persevere and complete my leaving cert, and I got accepted into Southeast Technological University (STU), despite the fact that my guidance counsellor had advised me not to go to college and not to apply for the CAO. I had the best five years of third-level education. I got great support from the DSS (disability support services) team at both STU and MTU (Munster Technological University). I am now a youth leader and mentor at the Cork Migrant Centre. I have been there for over 3 years. I have enjoyed working on projects such as the Wednesday hip-hop dance class, and racism awareness webinar. I really enjoy working with the young people at CMC.

Fun Fact about me: I love friends the tv show

Joan Omosefe Osayande

Occupation: PhD student in Neuroscience

I am a first-year PhD student in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at University College Cork (UCC) and the Daniel and Margaret Cronin Advancing Access PhD Scholarship winner in 2022. My research focuses on the gut microbiome and Parkinson’s disease. I received the UCC Sanctuary Scholarship in 2018. I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Medical and Health Sciences in 2022.

I have and currently participate in a variety of studies. I was given the chance to serve as a summer internship student in the APC Microbiome at UCC in 2021 after receiving the Translational Research Internship (TRAIN) Award. This gave me the opportunity to research the impact of C-section on the neurogenesis of the hippocampi. I am currently evaluating the data flow in healthcare with the ASSERT Center at UCC. I finished a PLC (Fetac level 5) programme in Biomedical Science and Laboratory Techniques in Galway before enrolling at UCC.

In addition to my academic work, I work part-time with the UCC MicroCred team. I have been a Peer Support Leader since 2019 and have assisted new college students with their transition. In 2021, I also completed a Continuing Professional Development in Community-Based Mentoring module. I was an OTC assistant at the pharmacy from 2019 to 2021. I held four different positions while participating in three UCC societies, including those of first-year representative, welfare officer, technology conference lead, and finance officer. I currently serve on the postgraduate committee as well.

I have received and won several award and scholarships. In 2022, I won the Daniel and Margaret Cronin Advance Accessing PhD Scholarship and in 2018 I won the UCC Sanctuary Scholarship. I have also received the Peer Support Award (Gold) and UCC Works/EmployAgility Awards from 2020 and 2022. I was chosen for the TRAIN Awards in 2021.

I enjoy a variety of things, including baking. I make different kinds of cake, including red velvet, blueberry muffins, and lemon drizzle cake. I enjoy reading articles and viewing documentaries, TV shows, and crime shows.

Community Based Mentors

You can contact the office 9.00 - 17.00 Monday to Friday via (021) 4193587 or (086) 0137616 for general queries about our services