In the Know: Opportunities to nurture your parent-teen relationship!

In the Know: Opportunities to nurture your parent-teen relationship!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Nurturing an open relationship with your teen can be a bit tricky at times! Especially because adolescence is a time for your child to embrace their identity and learn to be a little more independent. Have a look at these three opportunities to support you and your child with building strong foundations.

Learn how to get it right with online safety, gaming & social media!
Join us on Thursday 1st July at 7pm for a free expert-led webinar by Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov, founder of DigitalParentingCoach.com. In this webinar, you’ll learn strategies to help your child balance screen time with academic life & everyday responsibilities. To discover how you and your teen can enjoy the online world safely through establishing balance and boundaries, click here.     

Join a Live Naturecast with British Ecological Society!
In this free, family-friendly broadcast, you’ll take part in fun interactive activities, from wild art to pollinator encounters, that you can do at home or outside. During this live event, ecologists will take you through spectacular places around the UK. You’ll also have the chance to take part in a live Q&A session. The broadcast takes place on Thursday 3rd July, and you can book here.

 

Learn how medicines are made!
On Monday 21st June, Pfizer STEM ambassadors will take you on an inspiring journey to learn more about what’s involved in developing medicines. Your child will also have an opportunity to look at the importance of science in our everyday lives and explore careers related to Medicine. The event is open to young people of all ages and is free to attend. You can book your space here!

Free Assessment Tool: Find out Your Parent-Coaching Style!
Have you ever wondered what your natural coaching style is as a parent? Having the right tools and resources can help develop and nurture your relationship with your child giving them the added advantage for their future. Take the quiz to enhance your coaching style & discover new tools that you can use to help your teen excel.

Volunteer Spotlight – It is rewarding to share knowledge that I’ve gained along the way

Volunteer Spotlight – It is rewarding to share knowledge that I’ve gained along the way

Volunteer spotlight Volunteers What's new?

Volunteer spotlights are always so inspiring and in our latest volunteer spotlight interview, we had the chance to sit down with Antonio who has been a volunteer mentor with us for almost two years. During this interview, he shares more about his passion to diversify the architecture sector and how volunteering with GT Scholars has helped him to reach out to more young people about careers in architecture. You can read the full interview below.

Can you please tell me a bit about yourself?
I’ve been working as a qualified architect since 2012. I’m currently working in a practice that focuses on private residential homes and also some social housing. During my career, I worked on many fascinating and interesting projects, including a museum in Brixton.

What made you decide to become a volunteer mentor?
I’m really passionate about trying to diversify the architectural profession. Being of dual heritage, I’m very aware that architecture generally doesn’t attract people from diverse backgrounds. I think that architecture can benefit from having more voices from all sorts of different backgrounds. I think it would be great if we can diversify the profession. Being part of the Online Careers Summit helped me reach out to young people. The session helped them believe that they can be architects and understand what architecture is all about.

How did you get started as a volunteer mentor?
I first signed up to be a mentor because I’m at a point now in my career where I’ve got lots of experience and knowledge, and I’d like to share this with people. Mentoring with GT Scholars offers a platform for this. It’s a great way to get positive outreach for the goal of diversifying the profession. I think I’ve had two mentees so far, one long-running and one who wants to be an architect as well. That’s been a really great experience. Hopefully, I assisted her and helped her understand how to become an architect. I was glad to be part of that process.

What part of mentoring have you found the most fulfilling?
It is rewarding to share knowledge that I’ve gained along the way. I love to work, collaborate and share knowledge with other people. It’s nice to be able to give back to people. Having built up experience, knowledge, and expertise myself, I think mentors can be crucial. It’s quite an important role to undertake because you’re offering your expertise in a particular field that they might be interested in or anything in life that they might be facing. So it’s a key role for young people to help them find the right path and build the right career path going on from that as well. I’ve enjoyed taking that responsibility and helping others to find out where they want to go in life.

What goals have you helped your mentees achieve?
One of the main things is goal setting. It’s helping them to find out what they want to achieve and what goals they want at this stage in their life. Where do they want to be? How do they want to achieve it? And how do they get there as well? Mentoring is a great way to open someone’s eyes to the many possibilities out there. 

Did your mentees have any challenges, and how did you help them overcome these challenges?
The challenges have been more about understanding, especially with the most recent mentee who is interested in becoming an architect. The challenge for her was understanding what an architect does. It was getting her to see what I do day in and day out because it’s not just about designing buildings. It’s about designing buildings that work for people. One of the main things is helping to create expectations and an understanding of what she’s interested in and what that means in real life. Rather than just knowing that she wants to design buildings.

Did you face any challenges while mentoring?
Before having worked with GT Scholars, the challenge I had was to define my role specifically. There’s a great guide from GT Scholars about what to do and excellent guidelines and templates that you can follow. I had to negotiate with an individual and figure out what they needed to get out of this process. The challenge for me is trying to negotiate that system and understand how to get the most out. I guess that the other issue is that we’ve had to do this online quite often (during the pandemic). That makes it difficult to gauge people’s reactions, even though you can see their faces. It’s hard to gauge people’s reactions without being in the same room as them. 

As a mentor, what do you think is the most important skill to have?
I think that one of the important things is to be patient with young people. You have to remind yourself that you’re working with young people and trying to help them to get to the place that they want to be. Sometimes, they might not know where that place is. One of the key skills is to be patient and listen to your mentee to try and understand what they’re going through.

How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
I think support is very important. I’ve never actually had a mentor, although I’ve always tried to find one throughout my career. I’ve tried to find people who I can learn from and look up to. As I said, I haven’t had an official mentor before, but finding people that you can build a support network through, is important. It makes it easier to set goals and to help you achieve those goals. The better your relationships are with your colleagues, and the bigger your support network, the more assistance you’ll have to reach those targets.

How has the experience as a volunteer mentor been for you?
I’ve been really lucky and grateful to volunteer with GT Scholars. I have found them to be supportive. If I had any questions during my mentoring sessions, the GT Scholars team has always been there. They have all helped enable me to perform better in my role as a mentor. Additionally, during the Careers Summit, the team at GT Scholars created loads of helpful information to help us through that process.

What did you gain from volunteering as a mentor?
I found it rewarding to work with young people and hopefully helped them achieve their goals. It also gives you better leadership skills and more skills in dealing with young people. That can only be useful as I go through my career as I’ll need to consult with young people when I design buildings.

Would you recommend anyone to become a volunteer mentor?
Yes, absolutely! I find it interesting and exciting. Even though you get to meet young people in my line of work, you don’t meet them in that same capacity. They’ve got fascinating minds, and it’s exciting to work with people of that age.

What would your message be to anyone that’s now thinking about volunteering or becoming a mentor?
I would say go for it! Do what you can to help people out! If you’ve got the time, passion, and desire to do this, no matter your age or experience. Nothing is stopping you, and GT Scholars will help you perform well in your volunteer mentor role!

In the Know: Learn, Engage, Debate!

In the Know: Learn, Engage, Debate!

In The Know Parents What's new?

We’re in the last stretch towards the end of the academic year! For a great start to the second-half of the term, have a look at these three opportunities that’ll help set your child up for success! These opportunities will give your child the tools they need to build their confidence, make better decisions and help plan for their future. Read on to find out more.

Teach your child about wealth, finance & investing!
Join us tomorrow Saturday 12th June at 1pm for a free online parent webinar. During this expert-led webinar, Dr Aderemi Banjoko, Director of NextGenFL, will be explaining how you can guide your child when it comes to wealth and finance. You’ll also gain tools that you can use to introduce your child to investing. To book your spot, click here!

Engage in Goldsmiths University Creative Studio!
If your child is in Year 12 and is looking at a career in the creative industry, then Goldsmiths Creative Studio will be perfect for them. This free week-long virtual studio will host talks from Goldsmiths University students on their personal experiences, portfolio advice, and research. The studio will run from Monday 28th June to Thursday 1st July, and can register here

Take part in an online debate!
The Big Debate Club, by Smart School Councils, helps young people to take part in a fun, guided online debate. The debates are open to young people aged 6-14 and can be done at home or in class. There are many topics to choose from and your child can join 45,000 young people across England to debate about matters that are important to them. It’s free to participate and you can join here.  

Welcome to our new scholars joining us this term!
We’re pleased to welcome our new scholars and parents joining us this term. Please remember to read the parent handbook so you know how to make the most of your tutoring and mentoring sessions.

Check out our latest testimonial and spotlight interview!
We had the chance to chat with Jillian, a parent of one of our scholars, to understand her experience of the programme. During the interview, Jillian shares more about how the tutoring sessions boosted her son’s confidence in Maths, and how it helped him to stay focused on his studies. You can read the full interview here.

In the Know: Back to school activities

In the Know: Back to school activities

In The Know Parents What's new?

We hope you had a good half-term break and are ready and refreshed for the last stretch to the end of the academic year! In this week’s newsletter, we’re sharing three fun activities that your child can enjoy after school. These activities will help stimulate your child and help get them ready for the future! Read on to find out more.

Join a Book Club!
Oxplore Book Club Live is designed for young people aged 11-14. At this month’s meeting, Oxford students will talk about Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. Your child will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions in a live chat. The book club is free to attend and takes place on Wednesday 30th June. You can sign up here

Explore Clean Careers!
If your child is in year 8 to 10 and is looking at a career that can help save the planet, then this is a great free opportunity for them. They will hear from inspiring role models who have impressive and unique careers which contribute to protecting our planet. The session takes place on Wednesday 23rd June, and you can book your spot here

Get your Girl Into Coding!
This free exciting workshop is for girls aged 10-14 and is hosted by Girls into Coding. In this workshop, your child will be able to explore online coding activities, online robotics, 3D Design, and electronics. There will also be inspirational talks from women in STEM and is great for beginners. The workshop takes place on Sunday 13th June, and you can book your place here.

Your free Guide to Apprenticeships!
We’ve put together The GT Scholars Guide to Apprenticeships to help young people and parents to learn more about apprenticeships before embarking on their apprenticeship journey! In this guide, we cover topics such as the different apprenticeship levels, pros & cons, tips to find the right apprenticeship, and FAQs. You can download the guide by clicking on this link!

Parent Spotlight – The tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment workshops provided a holistic approach that I knew my son would benefit from!

Parent Spotlight – The tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment workshops provided a holistic approach that I knew my son would benefit from!

Parent Spotlight Scholar spotlight What's new?

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.

In the Know: Unlock, Discover & Create!

In the Know: Unlock, Discover & Create!

In The Know Parents What's new?

This week we’re excited to share with you three insightful opportunities that can help nurture your child’s active minds and get them to learn something new. These opportunities can help give your child the boost they need this half term. If this sounds like the tools you need, then read on to find out more!

Join our Free Parent Webinar: Unlock your Child’s Inner Genius!
Join us for an evening with learning expert Giulia Remondino, Expert Instructor at 21 Days UK. During this insightful 90-minute webinar, you will gain tools and techniques you can use to accelerate your child’s learning. This free webinar will take place online on Thursday 3rd June at 7pm. To book your spot, click here.

Design your own Theme Park!
Talk about Art is hosting a free online workshop for young people aged 7-19. In this workshop, your child will have the opportunity to design their theme park and stand in line to win amazing prizes. It can be anything from a rollercoaster to a haunted train ride. The workshop takes place from Thursday 3rd June, and you can sign up here

Explore Mars with Vision Events!
This free online activity is open to young people 6 and above and gives you and your family the opportunity to explore Mars together. You’ll have the opportunity to write basic command sequences, play the role of a Mars rover, or a scientist,  and help explore decisions and accomplish goals. To join the workshop on Tuesday 1st June, sign up here.

Spotlight of the month – Meet one of our scholars!
We’ve got a new spotlight to share! Xavier joined our Bright Ambitions Programme in 2019 as he believed that it would help him acquire new skills . Through the programme, he has been able to gain leadership, communication skills, and overall confidence. We wish him the best for the rest of his year 11 journey, and we know that he’s got a bright future ahead of him. To learn more about Xavier’s experience, click here.

In The Know: Skill-boosting opportunities for parents and young people!

In The Know: Skill-boosting opportunities for parents and young people!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Parenting can be really tricky! One of the biggest challenges is looking for new strategies and opportunities that can help your child be more prepared for life. This week, we’re bringing you three opportunities that will help give your child the boost they need to succeed!

Unlock your child’s inner Genius!
Join us on Thursday 3rd June at 7pm for a free online parent webinar. During this expert-led webinar, Giulia Remondino, MD of Genius in 21 Days Uk, will explain how you can unlock your child’s potential using personalised methods suited to their needs. If you’d like to tune in to this insightful webinar, click here.

Improve your study skills!
Future Learn has a 4-week free online course that will help your child improve their study skills and manage stress related to studying. Using the three-step model of previewing, summarising, and revising, your child will keep motivated while learning. This course is open to young people of all ages, and you can sign up here

Develop Coding Skills with Tinker Studios!
During this free online workshop for young people aged 8-15, your child will learn from award-winning tutors how to use programs to design a website. At the end of the workshop, they will leave with their own website and the skills needed to get a head start in the workplace. To sign up for this workshop on Saturday 5th June, click here

In the Know: Give your child the gift of confidence!

In the Know: Give your child the gift of confidence!

What's new?

Confidence is the key that can open many doors for young people and there are lots of ways in which you can help boost your child’s confidence. This week we have lined up three fun opportunities that will help your child develop and also inspire them to excel in all aspects of life.

Build a network and get inspired!
This virtual networking workshop with J.P. Morgan and Visa is brought to you by London Youth. Your child will have the chance to build their confidence through networking and engaging talks with staff and will learn more about career opportunities within these companies. Register your attendance for these workshops on Tuesday 1st June at 12pm and Thursday 3rd June at 11am, here.

Join a Reading Party!
Excelling Kids Club is hosting a free online Reading Party for young people aged between 8-15. Your child will have the chance to build their confidence by meeting new friends, discovering their love of reading, and understanding and applying the practical material unlocked. You can book your spot for the taster session on Saturday 5th June here.

Get a Daily Boost of Confidence!
Scott Smith, a motivational coach, hosts a free daily motivational podcast that is suitable for the whole family to enjoy. The podcasts are only ten minutes long and will help you and your family clarify their purpose, boost their confidence, and stay motivated. The podcasts are focused, fun and interesting to listen to. You can listen to the podcasts here.

PS: Applications for the Bright Ambitions Programme will close tomorrow Saturday 15th May. If you’d like to join this term’s intake of the online tutoring, mentoring and personal development courses for young people aged 11-18, register your interest here!

Volunteer Spotlight – Spending an hour at a time, just talking to them, working through a text, or reading a newspaper article was so enjoyable!

Volunteer Spotlight – Spending an hour at a time, just talking to them, working through a text, or reading a newspaper article was so enjoyable!

Volunteer spotlight Volunteers What's new?

At GT Scholars, we have a great team of volunteer tutors and mentors who are passionate about helping young people learn, grow, and achieve their goals in life. We have regular spotlight interviews with our volunteer tutors & mentors where they have the opportunity to share more about themselves and why they decided to become a volunteer. Have a look at our latest spotlight interview with one of our tutors, Jennifer.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and what got you to where you are today?
I play the orchestra for a ballet company as a classical musician. I also give one-to-one music lessons twice a week. I grew up in the North East and went to a good state school, and I had a lot of extra music lessons. Then when I was 18, I moved to Germany to attend music college. I always wanted to be a musician but was not sure I would get into any colleges, so I decided to give it a go somewhere far away. I spent four years in Germany and then did a Master’s degree in London. I started freelancing as a musician and got my job with the ballet a few years later.

What made you decide to become a volunteer tutor?
Through my work, I visit different schools doing music experience days or just working with the children. I think that the difference in provision is shocking. I spent a few days at some famous boarding schools, and I also went to some good state schools with nowhere near the same kind of facilities. During these visits, I met lovely children and young people in both settings. However, when I meet a young person in some places, and they just come across as a bit shy or a bit uncertain, I think for them, If you were going to a school that’s like a castle, would you feel differently about yourself? Would you have more confidence and maybe also feel more entitled to the higher grades? I just noticed that unfairness sometimes. I found that GT Scholars is an educational charity that wants to help ambitious children achieve higher grades. These children may need just a little bit more help than they’re getting now, and that’s why I wanted to start tutoring.

How did you get started as a volunteer tutor with GT Scholars?
I occasionally heard of GT Scholars. I found a link to their website on the Mayor of London website. From that point, I found it all very straightforward. I had to do the usual sort of application process, and then there was an interview at some stage, which is quite enjoyable and easy.

What did you enjoy most about tutoring your scholar?
English was my favourite and strongest subject at school, so it was nice to start getting into it again. I enjoyed going back to analysing poetry and delving deeply into novels. The young people I’ve met so far from the programme had different personalities and backgrounds, but engaging and lovely young people. Spending an hour at a time, just talking to them, working through a text, or reading a newspaper article was so enjoyable.

What part of this tutoring process have you found the most fulfilling?
The conversations that I’ve had with my young people have sometimes surprised me. They have a different opinion to what I was expecting or a different take on something, and that’s probably the most fulfilling thing. When they show a marked improvement on something that they’ve done before, I love that! If they show that they’ve gained understanding and jumped a great boundary, that makes me happy for them.

What goals have you helped your scholar to achieve?
I had a scholar who was very aspirational and wanted to get into a good university. I pointed out a couple of things to them that would help them make that switch and get the highest grade possible. I had another tutee who was not confident at all in her abilities in English. She struggled with it at school. I recommended that she start reading some poetry for her enjoyment because she enjoyed that aspect of what we were doing. I was pleased to hear that she had got herself a book of poetry, and she enjoyed reading it.

What challenges did you face while tutoring your scholar?
It wasn’t exactly a challenge. At the beginning of the programme, I put in some homework in my own time. I didn’t do English at University, so I did a lot of reading about the syllabus and curriculum and what they might be doing at school. I also completed some GCSE past papers. I felt that I needed to do this at my end.

Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people?
I think that one-to-one attention is all a young person needs. If a young person has a quiet disposition and is sitting in a classroom, they might not put their hand up if they do not understand. If you sit and talk to someone online for an hour and are unsure, they can ask you, and you can chat about it until they understand. That is probably the main thing. There is value for a young person in an hour of uninterrupted attention, where they will have to accept some criticism on their work. It’s good for a young person’s confidence to explain their work and justify it to another adult.

What do you think is the most important skill to have as a volunteer tutor?
I think you need to care about and connect with your tutee from the beginning. You also need to enjoy the subject you’re tutoring and be good at it and transfer that enthusiasm for the subject to your tutee. That will help them enjoy what they are doing and feel more motivated to do their homework.

How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
Extremely important! When I started my career as a Musician, I often played alongside older and more experienced colleagues. I have always been very open to any criticism that comes my way, and I have been lucky to have had colleagues who informally mentored me. They have offered a lot of feedback on what I can do better, and I have been happy to take that feedback onboard from them.

What have you gained from volunteering with GT Scholars?
I found it very fulfilling. It is a lovely way to spend an hour or so of your time every week. I got to do some interesting reading. Even some of the GCSE past papers, in their way, are fun. If you read this with a young person who has a fresh perspective, it’s really fun.

Would you recommend becoming a tutor with GT Scholars?
Definitely! Like I was saying before, it is just an hour of your time every week. You get to make a connection with someone that you haven’t met before. It’s good, especially now when everyone has been in solitary for so long. For me, that helped, particularly over lockdown. It also gave me something to look forward to, and have an interesting conversation with and hopefully helped them in some way.

What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a tutor with GT Scholars?
Apply to GT Scholars! You’ll learn a lot about the programme through the application process. A lot of material is provided during the process so that you know exactly what to expect. I would recommend it to anyone interested in volunteer mentoring or tutoring, and would definitely say, give it a go!

In the Know: Virtual Work Opportunities for Young People!

In the Know: Virtual Work Opportunities for Young People!

In The Know Parents What's new?

As young people transition from their teenage years into early adulthood, they are met with many important decisions. Amongst these decisions is choosing a career and having the necessary support and guidance is crucial. That is why we shifted the focus for this week’s newsletter to virtual work experience. Please read on to learn more about opportunities that you and your child can explore together.

Join the Deloitte Career Shaper Programme
This 3-day programme hosted by Deloitte is free and open to young people in Years 11-12. During this programme, your child will have the opportunity to challenge themselves by getting involved in client projects and building their leadership skills. Applications for the August intake are open and will close on Saturday 31st July. To sign-up, click here.

Register for the CyberFirst Online Course
If your child is enthusiastic about technology and wants to expand their knowledge, this free online course is for them. This course is open to 14-17-year-olds and will give them practical insights into digital safety and how everyday technology works. The course will run from July to August 2021, and you can sign up here.

Explore the Veterinary Profession!
In this free course brought to you by Future Learn, young people interested in veterinary science will get an insight into life as a vet. Your child will also have the opportunity to learn more about the workings of a veterinary practice and discover the day-to-day challenges a vet might face. The course is open to all young people, and you can register here.