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In our latest scholar spotlight interview series, we had the chance to sit down with Jillian, a parent of one of our scholars, to find out what her experience on The Headstart Programme was. During this interview, Jillian shares more about how the tutoring sessions boosted her son’s confidence in Maths, and how it helped him to become more focused on his studies
Have you seen any improvement and growth in your son since he joined the programme?
I would definitely say yes! He is now more open to asking questions and focused on his studies. He also thought about his career options and has a plan on what he wants to study. He assumed that he wouldn’t have to think about a career at this age. Now he speaks more openly about what he wants to do and about going to university. I have definitely seen an improvement and growth in his thinking and his aspirations.
What impact has the tutoring sessions had on your son?
His confidence in Maths has improved. It wasn’t that he was struggling, but he needed that extra confidence to know that he can do it. His tutor helped him in problem-solving and how to work his way through in answering questions. My son is sometimes quite hard on himself because he wants to do well in Maths. His tutor helped him gain confidence and believed that he could do it.
What impact has the mentoring sessions had on your son?
His mentor, Elisabeth, was great. He was a bit resistant at first because, in school, the idea of having a mentor usually gives this perception that you are struggling and you need help. I explained to him that having a mentor is having somebody that can support you, listen to you and share your ideas. They are there to give you advice and support. He then was okay with it. Elisabeth gave us a lot of information about events she had heard about that my son could join. We found this helpful. She was a great mentor!
Was there a specific part of our programme that drew you to GT Scholars or the programme as a whole?
With any parent in terms of improving your child’s academic attainment is always important. It was the 3 model approach of the Bright Ambitions Programme that drew me to the programme. The tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment workshops provided a holistic approach that I knew my son would benefit from. I specifically looked at the enrichment programmes and thought that was a great element for my son to have access to.
As a parent, how did you find interacting with the tutors and mentors?
I had to work on the interaction with the tutor a bit more. Ideally, I would have liked to have a conversation with the tutor beforehand, to get to know them and lay the foundation. Afterwards, once the sessions began, everything began to run smoothly. Elisabeth was warm and welcoming. She was easy to talk to and built a supportive mentor-mentee relationship with my son.
Did you feel that GT Scholars were supportive throughout the term?
Yes, they are good in terms of supporting parents and keeping them informed. I was kept engaged and was offered ideas and tips on how to make the most of the sessions. The support that they give to the children and the parents is of a very high standard.
What has your experience been with the organisation as a whole?
I might be slightly biased, but I think the work that Temi is doing is exceptional. I believe that it’s deserving of a lot more accolade than it gets. With the work and the effort, and the drive that she has, you can see that this is what she stands for. I think that that’s a testament to the staff and the people involved in the organisation. My experience was really positive!
Would you recommend GT Scholars to other parents out there looking for a tutoring and mentoring programme?
I definitely would recommend The GT Scholars Programme. I often mention it to parents in conversation about the programme.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Keep doing what you’re doing, and I wish you all the best! I know it’s been a challenging year for us all, but keep doing what you’re doing. It really is needed.
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.