Mosaic’s Secondary School group mentoring programme provides a package of opportunities to help raise the aspirations of young people, with the aim of closing the existing gap between their aspirations and attainment.
Mosaic is particularly thankful to our headline supporter The Al Faisal without Borders Foundation, alongside Sir John Cass’s Foundation and the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery for their generous support of the secondary school mentoring programme.
During the 2015/16 academic year, Marks & Spencer’s supported the programme with various members of staff volunteering as mentors across participating schools. Here Farzana, a Year 7 Westminster Academy pupil, and her M&S mentor Kate Barrow, reflect on the last day of the programme.
Mentees in Farzana’s group were each tasked by the M&S mentors with creating a ‘dream board’ illustrating their dreams for the future and who they wanted to be. When the task was complete, the mentees were asked to volunteer to present their boards to the wider class.
Farzana said: “Before starting the programme, I had never presented in front of anyone. When my mentor Kate asked for volunteers, even though I was really nervous, I made myself do it.”
Standing in front of a whole class of fellow pupils, Farzana shared her dream of one day becoming a Member of Parliament and then later, Prime Minister.
“I want people to look up to me and say I’m a good prime minister. There are lots of wars and lots of poverty. People are suffering and there are lots of people that no one helps – I want to change that. I want to help people and make the world a better place.”
After giving the presentation, Farzana commented that the best thing she learnt from the programme was: “if you have something to say, just say it – don’t keep it inside you.”
Her mentor, Kate Barrow, added: “I saw Farzana develop over the course of the programme from being very shy and softly spoken to being a lot more confident. Throughout all of the sessions she was always very attentive and got involved in all the projects. Her progress really shone through in that presentation on the final day. I know that the Mosaic mentoring process has made a huge difference to her confidence and to her perceptions of what she can achieve.”
Following completion of the mentoring programme, Farzana and her fellow pupils attended a special ‘graduation’ ceremony to celebrate their achievement. Mentor Kate Richardson, a lawyer at HSBC, spoke at the event. She urged the girls to keep doing their best and reach for the stars, encouraging them to be ambitious, make plans, dream big and be flexible with plans if they change.