Mehmet – Intern in the ReachOut office

My name is Mehmet Senkoy. I’ve been studying at The Petchey Academy for the past six years now, and I’m currently in sixth-form studying A-levels History, Business and Psychology. Since primary school, I’ve always been intrigued by the work of ReachOut, finding the programme not only educating and helpful for building my character but also very fun. The afterschool clubs where we’d play football and other sports is a very strong memory of mine, and it has helped me boost my confidence when around new people, allowing me to make new friends. These are just some reasons why I wanted to do my summertime work experience with ReachOut. Being responsible for putting smiles on young peoples’ faces- especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds- makes me feel proud of myself, and reminds me of my younger days where I needed an organisation like ReachOut to keep me happy and inspired.

The past two weeks at ReachOut have been eventful, providing me with many opportunities that I may never receive again. For example, the first week I accompanied CEO Peter Blackwell to an eye-opening Careers and Enterprise meeting, where I met a bunch of CEO’s from other organisations (such as Young Enterprise and Career Ready, which are programmes I’ve participated in). Furthermore, I’ve also had the opportunity to email celebrities from Hackney in the hope of finding a patron for ReachOut, as well as taking over the ReachOut Instagram page and answering questions from our followers. We recently just had a dodgeball tournament against Rede Partners as well, proving the diverse and enjoyable experience I’ve had with ReachOut during the short amount of time that I’ve been here.

Despite all these amazing events and activities, I’d say that the most memorable moment for me during my time has been the WEV (Workplace Experience Visit) with FutureBrand, where I took part in a workshop with some young people from South London and helped my team create a new shoe brand. We discussed the demographic of the shoe, the inspirations for the design and drew some sample shoes, and then presented our ideas to everyone. The reason why this event was my favourite is because it reminded me of when I used to take part in similar activities with ReachOut in primary school, and how much I enjoyed sharing my ideas with my friends and presenting in front of my class.

I don’t want to study at university. Even though I’ve heard many stories of how fun and lively of an experience it is, I feel as though I am the type of student who learns better practically rather than from a textbook. This is why I’m considering doing an apprenticeship which will allow me to understand my future career in a more detailed manner, and also the added bonus of earning while learning is a motivator too. In terms of what industry I’d like to pursue a career in, I’m not fully sure. My passion for history has lead me to considering law, but the length of the course has thrown me off; I feel like I’ll be able to achieve much more in 6 years within many industries rather than focusing on one specific industry.

Based on my overall experience with ReachOut (being a mentee and working as an intern), I would definitely consider working for charities. But, being the person I am, I think I’d much rather start my own charity! Maybe become a ReachOut partner too…

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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