Renowned for its culturally and socially diverse communities, Birmingham is home to a number of initiatives that aim to promote social mobility across the city, including the work of Mosaic.
Many schools in the city and across the West Midlands as a whole have been benefiting for some time from participating in Mosaic’s Secondary School mentoring programme. Celebrating diversity, the programme aims to close the existing gap between children’s aspirations and attainment through the power of mentoring.
One such school is Waverley Academy in Birmingham, where Salih Ghauri and Manuel Constantin are both Year 9 pupils. They have taken part in Mosaic’s Secondary School programme and recently shared their experiences with fellow pupils who are set to join in the hope of inspiring them.
Manuel said: “When I first started the programme I had low self-esteem and no courage to speak up because I was shy. After just two weeks of mentoring I felt different and my confidence improved. By the end of the programme, I was actually able to talk in front of people that I didn’t know!
“You get the chance to meet amazing professionals that you wouldn’t normally get to meet in everyday life. Our mentors taught us new skills and told us about their own jobs and experiences at work. My mentor inspired me to try harder to achieve my goals.”
Salih said: “I took part in Mosaic’s programme to boost my self-confidence. With their help, your confidence will grow and one day you will be able to speak in front of lots of people, just like us. Mosaic helped me become a new person and taught me never to give up on my dreams.”
Noreen Syed, a learning mentor at Waverley Academy who helps with the mentoring sessions, commented: “During their time in Year 8, we referred both Salih and Manuel for mentoring support from Mosaic because they suffered from low self-esteem. Working with role models from the public raised their aspirations and other pupils around them.
“The mentors gave our students ambition, raising awareness of potential career paths and encouraging them to understand their own strengths. By participating in Mosaic’s inspiring and interesting activities it boosted their confidence in relation to future careers. Both Salih and Manuel benefited greatly from Mosaic’s mentoring and are extremely happy.”