We are pleased to share the following case study from one of our Academy projects which highlights the transformative effect and positive impact a consistent and dedicated mentor can have on a young person.

The below video was recorded two years ago of a mentee and mentor partnership: James and James. Now that James (mentee) has completed his GCSE exams, we thought it would be a good opportunity to find out what James did next…

James (mentee) started attending ReachOut from Year 7 and quickly developed a strong rapport with his volunteer mentor James White from Macquarie Group. The two shared more than the same name, with a love of all things football bridging their differences.

James continued in the ReachOut programme for 5 years at Petchey, slowly growing in character and developing confidence. When James White was required to relocate back to Australia with his job at Macquarie he ensured that James was not let down and his colleague Ahmod stepped in to continue mentoring him!

Fast forward to 2019 and James White received an incredibly excited email to his inbox in Australia from James in Hackney saying that he had made it to the interview stage for an exclusive paid internship! This was provided by one of ReachOut’s corporate partners, a private equity firm, Rede Partners LLP.

Ahmod ensured that James received additional support at his project to prepare for the interview and having followed James on his ReachOut journey all were delighted when James was offered the placement.

From the self-proclaimed ‘shy guy in the corner’ who had moved to Hackney from Nigeria in the midst of his education – James went on to successfully complete and impress all who met him at Rede Partners during his summer placement.

Rachel Smart from Rede Partners said: “We loved having James join our team at Rede Partners for six weeks this summer. He was a great addition to the office and really threw himself into learning about our Finance and Human Resources functions. We hope he enjoyed the placement as much as we enjoyed having him! James, we wish you all the best with your future and thanks again for your hard work!”

James’s dedication to the ReachOut Programme shows the positive impact and intervention a mentor can have upon a young person’s life and how one hour a week can make a difference.

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and to show you the most relevant information. To find out more, read our updated Privacy Policy


“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