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“ReachOut has shaped me and has, in part, made me who I am today.”
Boma Orubibi, Former ReachOut Mentee
From the minute I started at ReachOut, right through to today, I’ve felt supported and part of a community that cares. From support in the classroom, to help with university applications and finding a job, ReachOut has always gone above and beyond to support me and countless others.
We all know that children from ‘well-off’ backgrounds benefit from better opportunities; they generally have access to better education, more extracurricular programmes, as well as access to a wide range of people beyond their parents or teachers who can mentor and guide them.
For me and my friends who took part in ReachOut, it helped to level the playing field, providing us with those same opportunities. The effect of this can be seen through all the amazing things that some former mentees have gone on to do – they’re working in tech, law, and the media, all opportunities I don’t think we would have got if we didn’t attend ReachOut.
As a kid, you always have people who you look up to. Growing up in Hackney, I had some really positive role models and some who weren’t as positive. ReachOut was somewhere that reinforced the lessons from my positive role models and showed me an alternative to the latter.
The mentors on our programme put their faith in us, children society deemed likely to fail. Kids aren’t oblivious to the expectations held of them and having someone who believes in them and who has faith in them, is immensely important and helps to drive their willingness to do well.
Intelligence doesn’t automatically equal success and even bright children can take wrong turns. You need guidance and someone behind you to believe in you, which is why mentoring is so fundamental to a child’s life. Now that I’m an adult, I want to give back in any way I can to support those who are in a similar position to the one I found myself in growing up.
I’m not an anomaly, ReachOut is still having a huge impact on the lives of young people all these years later. Mentoring really works.” Boma Orubibi
You can make sure that more young people than ever work with a 1:1 mentor like Boma did.
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“At first, I was really hesitant to take on the Project Leader role, despite having mentored with ReachOut. However, with the support of the team I’ve really developed my skills. For example, at the Mentee Graduation, I stood up in front of 200 people and presented an award which is something I would never ever have been able to have done before, and isn’t an opportunity I could gain in my other situations.”
Amy McCutcheon, Project Leader at ReachOut Academy, Dean Trust Ardwick, Manchester.
“Being able to spend the summer working at Rede Partners, was an amazing experience. Whether it was working in HR or Finance, I learned so much about the world of private equity, made great connections with fantastic people and I got to learn first-hand what it would be like to work there! I really believe that I can go onto build the career I want now I’ve been a part for a workplace for real”
Victor Adekunle, 18 years old, ReachOut Ambassador, London
“When I first my mentee, she was very reluctant to participate in the sessions. Now, I see a completely different person! Her confidence has grown and she is happy to join in! She still has some self-doubt when it comes to academic work, but that’s what I hope to help her overcome, because she is a very bright person!
Through mentoring, I’ve learnt I’m a lot more patient than I realised. There will be days where she refuses to participate and those are the days that I really see the importance of the character strengths, for both the mentees and the mentors. It also makes it easier for the mentee to understand the character strengths, when I use them myself”
Myrtle, ReachOut Club mentor at Tufnell Primary School, London
“There are more distractions than ever outside of school, and the commitment of our students to attend ReachOut sessions is testament to the value they place on the relationships they foster there, and the challenge and enjoyment they provide.
ReachOut’s focus on communication skills and character development has become an important aspect of our provision of support for these students. The opportunity to relate to a positive role- model other than their usual teachers is key to the programme’s impact, and the evidence of this has been seen in the students’ attendance, resilience and to their overall progress across all the subjects in the school.”
Thomas Janvrin, Assistant Vice Principal at the Petchey Academy London