Rhiana's Story

“I am now much more confident in what I am capable of and in who I am as a person.”

Rhiana, Former ReachOut Mentee

“Growing up I didn’t enjoy secondary school much and always struggled with the feeling like I didn’t belong, so I kept to myself as much as possible.

I think that started when I transitioned between primary and secondary school and it was really hard for me. My new school was in a different borough and most of my friends weren’t going there. I didn’t feel like I fitted into this new environment, so I ended up isolating myself and would just stick within my comfort zone.

When I started ReachOut, it pushed me outside of that rigid comfort zone that I had built up. It felt like therapy in some sense, when you start to build trust and learn how to open up which is something I wasn’t used to. I think ReachOut also helped us as a collective group of young people to understand each other better.

ReachOut really impacted my life in a big way, I can’t attribute it to just one mentor, exchange or experience. The ReachOut team were amazing, they always spared time to really talk to us and help us reach our goals. The Project Leader always believed in me and constantly motivated me to challenge my thought process and perspectives. I don’t think I would’ve got half the financial work experience I did get without the support of ReachOut’s former CEO, who kept pushing me forward for various opportunities.

I gained various skills through workshops put on by ReachOut such as public speaking, which I previously was really bad at. After school finished, I went on to study Economics with Econometrics at University and got onto to the Civil Service Fast Stream Economist Scheme. I am currently working as an Economist tax relief evaluator in HMRC.

The main thing I learnt from my time at ReachOut is that you should be your biggest cheerleader because you should be the first person to believe in yourself, and that will make others (especially in interviews) do so as well. I am now much more confident in what I am capable of and in who I am as a person thanks to ReachOut.”

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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