On 12th December 2013, students from Mount Pleasant Primary School in Huddersfield, celebrated the achievements of the mothers and daughters who have taken part in Mosaic’s Primary School Mentoring Programme, with an inspirational graduation ceremony at state-of-the-art Huddersfield University.
The students, all from Years 5 and 6 at Mount Pleasant School, began their day with a tour of the University campus, where the girls and their mothers received an excellent introduction to university life. Regional Manager for Mosaic Yorkshire, Nabila Ayub commented: “We are so thankful to Huddersfield University for hosting our graduation event here today. This is such an amazing opportunity for these young girls and their mothers; today they have the opportunity to see exactly what is on offer in terms of degree and non degree activity at the University and also to ask questions of the students.”
After the campus tour, the highlight of the day was an inspirational speech from Shabnam Bashir Mahmood from BBC Asian Network. Shabnam told the assembled guests all about her personal struggles into journalism, and how she overcame her difficulties to achieve her goals. Shabnam’s early aspirations to become a journalist were derailed by family commitments; undeterred she decided to try again when her children were older: “When I went back to work, I had to compete with a new generation of people. There were no longer typewriters – now it was the computer generation. I was at the bottom, so despite two kids and a home to look after . . . I put all my efforts into re-starting a career. I wanted to do something – most of all I still had that desire to become a journalist.
Shabam continued: “So I joined the BBC again (after an earlier, pre family stint). I had a variety of roles: as an assistant helping in the newsroom, as a producer helping put programmes together. I worked odd hours and sometimes I had to do a night shift because news doesn’t stop and we all have to take it in turns to do that. Anyway – I have been lucky – God was on my side and I eventually became the reporter I wanted to be. Since 2003 I have been reporting for the BBC. Now I have recently become the Senior News Reporter for Bradford.”
Zainab Rashid, a teacher at Mount Pleasant School commented: “It’s been an eye opener for our mums and girls and has really helped plan their journey ahead. I think they’ve all really benefited from the programme, but the most apparent change is the level of communication between the mums and daughters, this has now massively improved.”
Dr Nasim Hasnie OBE, Community Governor (Vice-Chair) at Mount Pleasant added: “It’s been great to see Mosaic working with our School; it’s a fantastic example of working in partnership to support our community. It has encouraged parents to get involved in their child’s progression in Education throughout different stages. Parents are the key to enhance our pupils’ education and Mosaic has supported that journey! Thank you.”
Mount Pleasant student, Hawwa Maneer commented: “Our Mentors are fantastic because they were with us all that time, teaching us things for free. They were spending their own time with us, which felt like a treat.” Student Habeebah added: “I’ve decided to go to University, get a degree and do my very best. I’m going to take all the opportunities I can.”
Naila Khan, mum to one of the students commented: “I’ve learnt we can motivate and encourage our children. I’ve also learnt that we can achieve our aims at any age.” Leanora Stewart added: ” As a result of the programme, I will encourage Charlene, my daughter, in every way I possibly can to follow her dreams.” Mum Asfhan Maneer added: “As a result in taking part, I have learned to listen to my daughter more than before and I will now get more involved with her studies to help guide her more.”
The event closed with a graduation ceremony. The excited students were awarded their graduation certificates and had official photographs taken with mentors, mums and teachers.
Sarah Khan Bashir, Co-Chair of the Yorkshire Regional Leadership Group commented: “We really cannot underestimate how much this kind of experience can impact on the future aspirations of a child at this stage in their life and schooling. Hearing from Shabnam was such an honour; she really demonstrated how with hard work and perseverance, you can achieve your dreams.”
Mosaic Yorkshire is now recruiting mentors to support programme delivery commencing in the Spring term. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor should contact Nabila Ayub.