Hanif lives in East London but is originally from Bangladesh so English is his second language. He has a hearing impairment and wears a hearing aid. He was referred to the ReachOut Academy mentoring project due to difficulties in understanding and communicating, which had led to low literacy levels and confidence.

Zeynab, Hanif’s Project Leader, remembers that when he first joined the project Hanif always wanted to stay in the background and would never put his hand up. However his mentor Nadieh, was extremely supportive and persistent and would encourage him to contribute, saying things like “That’s a great idea! Let’s share that.” Zeynab has noticed that the other boys in the group now listen to Hanif better and his confidence has grown.

One literacy session had a big impact on Hanif – he recalls learning about Muhammad Ali and how he became “The Greatest” through hard work and staying power.