Every now and then we interview one of our remarkable GT Scholars volunteers to find out who the person behind the volunteer is. Without our dedicated volunteers, our mission would not have been able to make the impact that it has. We had a chat with one of our tutors about volunteering, who she is and her message to young people of today is. Here is what she had to say:
- How did you first get involved in volunteering with GT Scholars?
I first learned of GT Scholars on the Team London website when I was looking for an opportunity to offer my time volunteering. Since I really enjoyed English as a subject at school and liked plays I thought that being a Volunteer Online Tutor would be the best fit for me. Upon visiting the GT Scholars website and reading more about their cause, I decided that I really wanted to be part of their mission.
- Why are you supporting GT Scholars as opposed to other groups working to improve social mobility?
The reason why I like being part of the GT Scholars volunteer team is that I enjoy being able to work with a wide demographic range of students in terms of their abilities and backgrounds.
- What might surprise your friends/family other volunteers to know about you?
I think most my friends and family would be surprised if they knew that I am a theatre critic in my spare time.
- How has volunteering changed you as a person and what have you learned from your time volunteering?
I think during my time volunteering I have learned how to utilise different methods of explaining concepts to people. When approaching a new topic it’s often the case that I and my student have to go over subject matter a number of times to reinforce the ideas. To ensure that the ideas really stay with him and that he understands the concepts from a range of difficult angles, I have to really think about different ways of presenting the information. This has helped me to think more innovatively and to really listen to my student so that I can tailor my approach in a way that’s most helpful to him. And these are both skills that I can apply to my everyday life.
- Is there anyone in particular you could tell me about who has influenced your decision to start volunteering in general?
When I was a student, about 16 years old, I was involved with the Social Mobility Foundation. At the time they ran a program which made it possible for me to be matched with a mentor and I also received an opportunity to take up an internship at parliament. Because I’ve had the privilege of support and guidance as a young person, I feel that I want to ‘’pay it forward’’ and give that same opportunity back to someone else.
Roberta is truly inspiring and serves for interesting conversation. When asked what her message to young people of today is, she said: ‘’ Work hard and do your best. If you do those things you will get where you want to be. Take time to celebrate, when you achieve something, celebrate your success. Lastly always be proud of yourself and enjoy the journey.’’ That is definitely words of wisdom to live by! Roberta holds an MSc in International Public Policy from the University College London and a BA Hons degree in History and Politics from the University of Sussex.
GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please get in touch with us.