Scholar Spotlight – The Bright Ambitions programme offered me many different opportunities!

Scholar Spotlight – The Bright Ambitions programme offered me many different opportunities!

Scholar spotlight Volunteers What's new?

As part of our scholar spotlight series, we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing one of the scholars on the Bright Ambitions programme – Xavier. In this interview, Xavier shares more about his experience on the programme and how it has helped him to develop new skills and discovered what he might be interested in doing in the future.

Please tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Xavier, I’m 15 years old from South London. My favourite subjects at school are history and classical civilisations. I really enjoy learning about past civilisations and the inner workings of the Roman and Greek society. I also find modern history such as the Cold War really interesting. I’m currently reading the memoirs of Winston Churchill as it’s intriguing to read from a primary source.

Why did you decide to join GT Scholars?
I chose to join GT scholars because I believed it would be very helpful for me to acquire not only key skills but more knowledge of what I may be interested in doing in the future. The Bright Ambitions GT scholars course offered me many different opportunities that I would never have had access to without the programme.

Did you have any specific goals that you wanted to achieve by joining us, and what were they? Did you reach these goals by the end of the programme?
My goal was to learn new skills and to be able to add more information on my CV as I am almost 16 and needed to build up a solid CV. GT scholars helped me monumentally with this by offered a CV building workshop which was incredibly useful. The Dragons Den workshop helped me learn the key skills I wanted to improve such as leadership and teamwork skills.

How has GT Scholars helped you to improve yourself?
The tutoring and mentoring programmes have helped me improve not only in school but also in choosing extracurricular activities which are good for my CV. The mentoring that has been offered to me is invaluable and has very much changed my outlook on not only universities that I may want to apply to, but also by matching my interests and strengths to find a job to pursue in the future.

What changes have you seen during your time on the programme? What impact has the programme had on you?
I’ve seen myself mature as a student being able to focus more easily now, even in studies I do not enjoy. The programme has helped open my eyes to paths in life, it’s helped me to match my skills to things I can pursue and also simultaneously work on my weaknesses.

How has your tutor helped you to reach your academic goals? How have your grades changed? Did you improve in your other subjects as well?
My tutor has helped me a great deal in Maths. I had a predicted 8 but the work I was producing only really reflected a 7. My maths tutor took the concepts I did not understand and worked with me not only to reinforce the basics but help evolve my understanding of the more abstract difficult parts of mathematics.

How has your mentor helped you to reach your personal goals or aspirations?
My mentor has helped me achieve my personal goals and aspirations by supporting my efforts in school and giving advice on how to revise more effectively and develop a positive growth mindset basing around ‘I can’ instead of ‘I can’t’. My mentor has also provided me with information on Oxford University which I believe is very useful and I have taken into account. I’m keen on going to Oxford University.

What was your favourite part of the programme? What was the best thing that your tutor and/or mentor taught you?
My favourite part of the programme was when we visited the main office of the mining corporation Rio Tinto in London.  We were able to have a tour and be introduced to the professional life of a worker in the company. I believe the most important thing my mentor has taught me is the positive growth mindset as it has changed my view on many things allowing me to grow as a student.

Why did you choose to enrol in an online tutoring and mentoring programme instead of face-to-face tutoring?
I chose the online tutoring partially due to the global pandemic and it was a new experience which I believed would be very beneficial to my learning.

How has the enrichment and skill-building days helped you? Which enrichment or skill-building day did you enjoy the most and why?
The enrichment and skill-building days have helped me by improving my leadership, teamwork and communication skills allowing me to speak more confidently and openly about my ideas. My favourite skill-building day was the Dragons Den workshop! It was fun and it taught me teamwork, leadership and communication skills.

Did you learn anything new about yourself during the programme?
I learnt that I sometimes burn myself out early before exams and I have adapted to this making sure that I work more evenly throughout the year.

How will you apply what you have learnt during the programme to your future?
The programme helped me to develop my leadership, communication and team-working skills which I will be able to use in the workplace in the future. I’ve already improved by being more interactive in the class and have more confidence to put up my hand which used to be rare.

What advice do you have for a scholar that’s thinking of joining one of our programmes?
I would say to any young person thinking of joining the programmes that it’s definitely worth it! The skills you learn and the experience you gain is invaluable and will greatly assist you throughout your life. I would also say to experiment and find what works for you. GT scholars offer a variety of programmes so you should have a look and find one that’s perfect for you.

What were your mentors and tutors like? Were they helpful? What did they help you with?
My mentor and tutor were both friendly and greatly supportive. They’ve helped me to do the best that I can to adjust my mindset and the way I approach challenges. They’ve also helped me to be more confident in my abilities than before.

Friends of GT Scholars – Find out more about our Advisory Board roles!

Friends of GT Scholars – Find out more about our Advisory Board roles!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Ahoy matey! It’s Friday! Did you know tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day? I’m sure someone somewhere in the world is making big preparations for tomorrow! Anyway, I’ve decided to get into the swing of things for this peculiar day, so pardon the pirate lingo! Before we all set sail for the weekend, I’d like to share our latest crew member roles with you, and also ask for your help in sharing our programmes with any lads or lassies you might know!

Advisory Board roles available!
We have a few roles available within our Advisory Board, for professionals who’ve got experience in PR, Finance, SEO & Digital Marketing. Advisory Board Members play an integral part in the future development of GT Scholars and the impact we can make. If you would like to apply for one of these positions or know of someone who would be interested to find out more, please feel free to get in touch with me by sending a quick email!

Connect us to a Corporate Sponsor!
Thanks to everyone who was able to connect us with their network. Our virtual roadshow will run from Monday 5th October to Friday 9th October 2020, and we still have a few openings in our schedule. We’d love to hear from your company if they would like to get involved with Global Teenpreneur, by either sponsoring a cash or non-cash prize. Non-cash prizes can be anything relating to company merchandise or a-day-in-the-office work experience opportunity. If your company would like to get involved or if you have any other prize ideas in mind, please let me know!

Can you share the challenge with young people?
Entries for Global Teenpreneur are streaming in from all over the world, and we are so excited to meet the teenpreneurs! The challenge will give young people an opportunity to learn how to launch their own business online, compete with other teenpreneurs around the world and also stand a chance to win up to £5000 in cash prizes! Parents and young people can register their interest up until the 31st of October! If you know someone who might be up for this challenge, please feel free to share this link with them!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – A variety of online opportunities!

Friends of GT Scholars – A variety of online opportunities!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

It’s Friday! I hope you had a great week? The weekend is here, and with the new social gathering ban in place, you might need to reshuffle your schedule to make sure you plan your social life in increments of six! A lot of people are wondering if this ban will bring about tension in the S Club 7 WhatsApp group! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! Luckily, our programmes are now entirely online, and we can still bring young people together, without any restrictions! Speaking of online opportunities have a look at this week’s newsletter!

Got what it takes to sit on our Advisory Board?
We are looking for professionals who are also very passionate about helping young people and would be interested in being part of our Advisory Board. If you have experience in Digital Marketing, SEO, P.R or Finance and would like to know more about these opportunities or know someone who would be a good fit for one of these roles, please get in touch, and I’ll share more information with you!

Global Teenpreneur: The challenge for future entrepreneurs!
I hope you have had a chance to have a look at our new competition and join in our excitement!? If not, don’t worry because we can fix that! We’ve put together the Global Teenpreneur Challenge for young people between the age of 13 & 17 to enhance and develop their entrepreneurial skills. If you know of anyone who would be interested to join the challenge, please feel free to share this link. Registration is still open for young people up until the 31st of October!

Endless opportunities for Corporates to get involved!
As part of the Global Teenpreneur competition, we are looking for corporate companies who’d be interested to be a sponsor to provide prizes and other goodies for the winning teams. The possibilities of different kinds of prizes are endless and can be in many forms to help our winning teams further develop their entrepreneurial or business skills after the competition! Prizes can be physical prizes like swag or they can be virtual eg. virtual internships or masterclasses. If you know a company that would be interested in sponsoring the competition or giving prizes, please send me a quick email and I’ll get in touch with you!

Please note that there will be some changes to the GT Scholars website this weekend which means that the website and emails may be down for a few hours – but we will be up and running again on Monday 14 September 2020.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – Volunteer Opportunities to look forward to!

Friends of GT Scholars – Volunteer Opportunities to look forward to!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Happy Friday! It’s been a short work week and I must say that a four day work week is something I could get used to! Did you know that Finland’s prime minister is actually playing around with this idea? And thanks to Google who’s also celebrating their 22nd birthday today, I can amuse you with these odd bits of information, they make great conversation starters by the way! Anyway, that’s enough chit chat from me! Here’s this week’s newsletter…

Would you like to volunteer as a tutor or mentor?
The new term is only a few weeks away and we’re really looking forward to it! Thanks to everyone who got in touch to confirm their availability! I’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in volunteering during the next 12-week cycle starting mid-September. Volunteer mentors support their mentee for 6hrs in a term and volunteer tutors support their tutee for 12hrs in a term. If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to drop me a quick email!

Would you like to be part of the Global Teenpreneur action?
Thanks to everyone who’s reached out about getting involved with this programme! I’ll be in touch with you soon. The challenge is on! Many young people are already hard at work completing their first challenge! This 4-month programme will include 21 masterclasses on topics such as leadership skills, pitching & presentation skills, campaign management, and video animation! We’re looking for talented facilitators to run workshops and professionals to sit on the panel of judges. Sounds like fun? Please get in touch

Can you help us share our new programme with your network
Have you taken some time to have a look at our new programme the Global Teenpreneur Challenge? To say the least, the word is spreading like a wildfire and applications are streaming in! If you would like to know more about this programme for business savvy teens, or you would like to share this with a family member, friend, parent, or young person, make sure to follow this link to the Global Teenpreneur website!

And as a last note, please note that there will be some changes to the website this weekend which means that the website and emails may be down for a few hours – but we will be up and running on Monday 7 September 2020.

Have a terrific weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – Exciting opportunities to get involved with!

Friends of GT Scholars – Exciting opportunities to get involved with!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

It’s the start of the bank holiday weekend! If the weather plays along, there is a special way you can spend your day. Monday is also Eat Outside Day! And you might be thinking exactly what I’m thinking right now. Sunshine + Blanket + Good food + Good company = Pure Bliss! But before we kick our feet up, let me share some opportunities you can get involved with!

Global Teenpreneur: It’s official!
It’s alive! On Wednesday this week, we went live with our Global Teenpreneur website and we’re super excited about the next few months! If you know of any young person who would be interested in taking part in the challenge, please share this opportunity with them and also feel free to forward the link to your friends & family! Be sure to check out the website for more information here!

Workshop Facilitators and Judges needed!
Are you interested in getting involved as a workshop facilitator or judge for the Global Teenpreneur Challenge? As part of this exciting new programme, we’ll be hosting 21 Masterclasses which will be on a range of different topics such as leadership skills, pitching & presentation skills, campaign management, and video animation! If you’d like to get involved and would like to find out more, please get in touch!

New role available at GT Scholars!
If you’re looking for a part-time and flexible role, we might just have the thing for you! We’re on the lookout for someone to fill the role of a document checker. This role will involve in-person meetings with new volunteer recruits, who are on the last step of their application process, to verify their original documentation. If you’d like to get more details about this role please feel free to send me a quick email here!

Have a lovely weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – Judges & Workshop Facilitators needed for Global Teenpreneur!

Friends of GT Scholars – Judges & Workshop Facilitators needed for Global Teenpreneur!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

It’s the weekend!! Hope you had a good week? Some of our scholars are definitely starting the weekend on a high note with the release of the GCSE results yesterday. Did you know that this year’s results marked the highest pass rate and the highest proportion of top grades in England since the qualifications were reformed? With the new term around the corner, I’d like to share some exciting opportunities with you! Read on to see if you could help!

Available roles for talented professionals!
We’re always up for collaborating with talented professionals to share our passion for providing young people with great opportunities. There are a few part-time roles available starting next month, including online workshop facilitator roles as well as judges & speaker panel member roles for online workshops. We’re also looking for a document checker to verify new volunteer applicants’ documents. If you’re interested in getting more information about any of these roles, please get in touch!

Global Teenpreneur Challenge
We’ve co-designed the Global Teenpreneur Challenge with scholars from the Inspiring Future Leaders Programme. We’d really like you to help us get the word out there about this amazing initiative to equip future entrepreneurs with the right skills to succeed. There are two ways you can help! You can either share this challenge with a business-savvy young person or their parents; or you can connect us with your company by hitting reply and we will share how they can benefit from partnering with us.

New term Volunteering opportunities!
If you might be interested in volunteering as either a mentor or tutor in the new term, this is what you need to know. Firstly the term will run for 12 weeks, kicking off mid-September. As a volunteer mentor, you can divide your sessions into monthly 2-hour or bi-weekly 1-hour sessions, and as a volunteer tutor, you can schedule 1 hour weekly sessions. Thank you to everyone who’s already contacted me! We’re really looking forward to the new term and if you’d like to find out more, please feel free to drop me a quick email!

Have a great weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – Help us reach bright young entrepreneurs!

Friends of GT Scholars – Help us reach bright young entrepreneurs!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

It’s been a lovely sunny week with a wonderful shower to cool things down a bit! Hopefully, the summer vibes will be back soon! I’m 100% ready for the weekend! How about you? Before we head off into the weekend, I’d like to share a couple of volunteering opportunities and a new volunteer spotlight with you! So take a quick break and read this week’s newsletter!

Do you know a young entrepreneur up for an exciting challenge?
The Global Teenpreneur Challenge is almost ready to launch and we’re calling on business-savvy teens to sign up for this exciting challenge! This challenge is designed to encourage young people to learn about developing and promoting their very own business idea online and getting exposure to entrepreneurial companies. Can you help us spread the word to parents and teens by liking and sharing our Facebook post? All you have to do is like and share this Facebook post!

Rachel takes the spotlight!
As we come to the end of the academic year, we had a look back at some of the great volunteers we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past few months. Rachel, a former volunteer mentor, takes the spotlight and tells her story about becoming a mentor with GT Scholars. Rachel really cares about social mobility in the UK and wanted to specifically help young people with making decisions. If you would like to watch her full spotlight interview, follow this link!

Thinking about Volunteering in the new term?
This week, The Guardian reported that 40% of the teacher assessments submitted to Ofqual have been downgraded. This left a lot of young people unhappy after receiving their A-level results yesterday. GCSE results that are due next week will also be impacted by this algorithm, especially results for disadvantaged students. Now more than ever, young people will need help to deal with school closures and the uncertainty of when they will reopen again! You can help young people by volunteering as a tutor for 1 hour a week or a mentor for 2 hours a month. Thanks to everyone who has already confirmed their availability! If you’d like to volunteer during the next 12-week term starting in September, please get in touch!

Have a beautiful weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden

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Volunteer Spotlight: Meet one of our Volunteer Mentors – Rachel

Volunteer spotlight Volunteers What's new?

At GT Scholars we have a great team of volunteer tutors and mentors that are passionate about helping young people learn, grow, and achieve their goals in life. We have regular spotlight interviews with our volunteers where they share a bit more about themselves and why they chose to volunteer. Here is a recent interview with one of our volunteer mentors – Rachel

Tell us a bit more about yourself
Hi, I’m Rachel, and I’m an architect and Design Manager living in London and I’m also a mentor for GT Scholars.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a mentor with GT Scholars?
I wanted to become a mentor with GT Scholars because I care a lot about social mobility in this country. I went to state comprehensive school, and I think it’s good for people to understand that it’s possible to be successful if you attended a comprehensive school. I came across GT Scholars because I knew that I wanted to volunteer with young people and help them with their choices. GT Scholars offered everything that I wanted to help out with.

How did you find the application process?
The process that I went through for joining GT Scholars, I had to answer some questions that Marilyn & Temi gave me. I actually went to meet Temi, the founder in person and it was just an informal nice chat. I was able to ask lots of questions about the process and what we were doing. After that, I had to do some online training which was really helpful and informative. The training provided lots of information about the status of social mobility and state schools in the UK. It was quite a quick process and after I completed the training I was matched with a mentee.

What was your first mentoring session like?
For my first session with Laura, we met up, and we had a very informal conversation, it was just a get to know you chat. I told her a bit more about myself that I’m an architect and about the university I went to. She also told me what she’s doing at school, what her favourite subjects are, what she likes, what she doesn’t like, and that way I was able to build a picture of the things that I might be able to help with, in our future sessions.

What sort of challenges have you helped your mentee with?
During our sessions, I helped Laura with looking into career options and possibilities for after school. We worked on trying to distill down the options, working through the information overload that’s out there on the internet, and time management was also something that Laura was keen to find out more about. It’s definitely something you can learn, it’s a process and you can get better at it.

What qualities made Laura a good mentee?
The qualities that made Laura a really good mentee were one that she was very keen to learn, open to suggestions and it was very easy to get the conversation going between us. It’s also really good to understand the issues that young people are facing these days, so it was beneficial for me as well as for her.

Why do you think mentoring is so valuable for young people?
I think mentoring is really valuable to young people these days because often in schools I think that there’s not a lot of time in the day to dedicate one on one time. It’s nice to have an open and frank conversation and discussion about the issues that young people are facing these days and just to let them know about all the options that are out there. It’s also good to let them know that they’re very young still, obviously, and basically try to keep your options open, not too close down too many at this stage. You can always go through the refinement process and learn more about what you like, what you don’t like, and know it’s not a mistake to just go through a learning process.

What have you gained from volunteering as a mentor?
So the things I think I’ve gained personally from being a mentor for GT Scholars were finding out more about the issues that young people face today. It’s also been helpful to see how the skills that I’ve learned over the years, been able to help and to offer motivation to young people. Providing a way to help young people think positively has been beneficial to me.

What support have you had as a mentor at GT Scholars?
The support I’ve had from GT Scholars since I signed on as a mentor has been really great and helpful. So in the first instance, I was given some online training to help me with my sessions which were really informative and useful. GT Scholars also checked in with me once a week or every two weeks to see how the sessions were going and if I was having any issues or if I needed any more support. So there weren’t any issues, but it was nice to have the dialogue going constantly.

What would you say to anyone wanting to become a mentor?
If anyone is looking to become a mentor with GT Scholars, I would definitely recommend it and say go for it. You get a lot of support from GT Scholars and it’s a very rewarding opportunity. It’s great to meet young people who are keen to follow their dreams, find out what’s out there, and who’s motivated to learn. It was great to have an open and honest discussion with a young person about their hopes, aspirations and helping them with any issues they might have with the skills that I’ve developed and learned over the years. It’s definitely something that you can fit really easily into your working life, and it was just a nice extra thing to have in my life.

Friends of GT Scholars – A challenge for Young Entrepreneurial minds!

Friends of GT Scholars – A challenge for Young Entrepreneurial minds!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Ah Friday! We meet again! Another week is done and dusted! How has your week been so far? It’s been quite a productive week on our side with the first official Youth Board meeting that took place yesterday and two brand new programmes that will be launched over the next few weeks. Last week I told you about the new B-Inspired programme, an online community for young people, and this week I’d like to tell you about a new challenge for young entrepreneurs!

Spread the word – Global Teenpreneur is here!
It’s with a lot of excitement that we introduce the Global Teenpreneur Challenge to you! This competition has been co-designed with our scholars. As part of the competition, young people aged 13-17, will get to work in teams to develop their entrepreneurial skills, launch their business, get exposure to entrepreneurial companies and take part in individual and group challenges, with cash prizes up for grabs! If you or your company would like to get involved, please get in touch. And if you know of any young person or a parent who’d be interested, please share this link with them.

Online workshop facilitators needed!
As you might already know, we’re currently moving all our workshops online so we can continue to provide young people with learning activities during this time. These workshops will have a range of topics including entrepreneurship, coding, financial literacy, and growth-mindset. If you have workshop facilitating experience and would like to help us to run these workshops, or also know of anyone who’d like to get involved, please get in touch!

Volunteering in the new term?
Firstly, a huge shout out to everyone who volunteered this term! You guys rock! The current term is about to end and with the new term just around the corner, I’d like to find out if you would be available to volunteer next term. Online volunteer tutors schedule weekly 1-hr sessions and mentors divide their sessions up into monthly 2-hour or bi-weekly 1-hr sessions. If you would like to sign up as an online volunteer tutor or mentor for the next 12-week term starting mid September, please let me know! It would be great to have you on board!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – Volunteers who inspire!

Friends of GT Scholars – Volunteers who inspire!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Hello Friday! I hope your week has been great so far and that you’ve got some exciting plans lined up for the weekend!? Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been busy interviewing young people for the Youth Board. This week we selected scholars for the 2019/20 Youth Board, we’re looking forward to introducing them to you and very excited to see what they will accomplish!

Future Leaders left Inspired!
The Inspiring Future Leaders Programme for 2019/20 has ended and it’s been really great working with all the boys on the programme. New friendships were formed, a lot of new leadership skills were developed! Thank you to all the volunteer mentors who, despite the lockdown period, were dedicated and passionate about uplifting their mentees! You’ve made such a positive impact in their lives! We’ll be sharing the impact report with you in the next couple of weeks.

Volunteer tutor, Jane shares her story!
Our latest volunteer spotlight was with Jane, one of our volunteer tutors who’s been volunteering with GT Scholars for the past two years. In this interview, Jane tells us a bit more about how she started volunteering and her overall experience working as a tutor online. Jane also talks about her most recent tutee, Tatiana, how the lockdown period impacted the sessions, and how she was able to provide support to her tutee during this time. Check out the full interview here!

An online community for young people!
We’ll be launching B-Inspired soon! A new online community platform for young people with monthly workshops run by experts, who will talk about topics that will hit home for many young people. The platform will also provide group coaching sessions with extra support on topics young people may be struggling with. If you’re interested in running or leading an online workshop for young people or parents, and/or know of someone who’d be a great fit, please get in touch!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Marilyn van Heerden