Friends of GT Scholars – Catch our latest scholar spotlight!

Friends of GT Scholars – Catch our latest scholar spotlight!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

It’s the weekend! Did you know that today, 56 years ago, one of the world’s most iconic figures, spent their first day of 27 years in prison? You guessed right – I’m talking about anti-apartheid activist, Nobel Prize winner and former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Thanks to great people like him who chose to fight for equality in his time, we’ve moved forward but we still have a long way to go. The news and social media has been filled with so many tough stories to read but we believe that this change can and will happen.

An article from Temi Kamson
A lot of news has been about equality, anti-racism and also on social media, you might have noticed hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackoutTuesday. More people are speaking up about inclusion and sharing their personal experiences. Our founder & CEO, Temi Kamson decided to share her story in her latest article, 7 lessons to teach my black son (and any young black person).

Spotlight on one of our scholars on the Headstart programme – Ameer
Recently I had the pleasure to interview one of our scholars, Ameer who’s currently in year 8 and on our Head Start programme. Ameer is a very talented young man and aspires to become a computer scientist or lawyer in the future. Ameer said “My tutor was very supportive of me. He was relaxed but serious when teaching me. I really enjoyed it!” His mom also shares her experience with us as a parent. You can read their story here.

Support for Volunteer Mentors!
We would like to give a big thank you to all the volunteers who worked on creating and updating our new mentoring worksheets. We will be sharing this with all our mentors shortly. If you’ve been a mentor with us or just signed up, be sure to read our latest mentoring blog which includes great tips to start off and have a great mentoring experience. You can read the full blog by following this link. 

Have a great week!

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – A response to #BlackoutTuesday from Temi Kamson

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

I hope that you’ve had a fantastic week? This week, social media and the news has been filled with stories about #BlackoutTuesday, anti-racism, and the black experience. As a non-profit with a black founder CEO, a diverse team, diverse volunteers and a diverse board, working with young people from diverse backgrounds, we’re so glad that more people are opening up to conversations about race and inclusion! This week features a must-read blog from Temi Kamson – GT Scholars Founder & CEO.

7 lessons to teach my black son (any young black person)
#BlackoutTuesday was definitely a day to remember! The whole world was talking about race and equality and there was definitely a buzz in the air – Many companies have pledged their re-commitment to stamping out racism. Our CEO, Temi, has put together a heartfelt blog where she shares her personal experiences of inequality, speaks out about race, and offers some tips for anyone who wants to support more black people and be more anti-racist. It’s definitely a piece that’s worth reading and will linger in your thoughts long after reading it. You might need to grab a cup of tea but I promise that it’ll be worth the read. You can find the full blog by following this link.

Have you seen our Thank You Wall lately?
We continue to receive amazing feedback from our scholars and their parents on how our volunteers changed their lives. This is what one of our parents had to say “My son’s tutor, Alison, is really patient with him and he is feeling that the sessions are really helpful. Even when he was out of the country for a while his tutoring sessions have allowed him to catch up.” – Debbiesha. You can read more about what the parents and young people had to say here.

12 Tips for Volunteer Tutors!
Volunteering as an online tutor with GT Scholars can be a great and rewarding experience for both the tutor and the tutee. Whether you are an experienced online tutor with GT Scholars or just getting started, we’ve put together some great tips to ensure your tutoring sessions kick off smoothly. These tips will help you make your sessions impactful, and allow you to build a great relationship with your tutee and their parents. Read the full blog by following this link.

Have a great week!

Marilyn van Heerden

9 Quick Tips for New Volunteer Mentors Joining one of our online Mentoring Programmes

9 Quick Tips for New Volunteer Mentors Joining one of our online Mentoring Programmes

Volunteers What's new?

Our scholars always tell us that their Volunteer Mentors have a huge impact on their progress. When you dedicate yourself to have a positive impact on someone else’s life, to help them grow and achieve their academic goals, it’s not only helpful to the mentee, but it will also be a rewarding experience for you as the mentor! Before embarking in your role as a mentor, have a look at these tips we’ve put together for volunteer mentors.

1. Contact the parents within 48hrs of receiving their details
The first thing that you’ll need to do is to contact your mentee’s parents within 48hrs of receiving their contact details, they’ll be expecting your call. During the first call, you’ll discuss the goals they have for your mentee, learn a bit more about them, and decide when your first tutoring session will take place.

2. Always have some form of face-to-face meeting
It would be great to have your first meeting in-person, but we do know that it’s not always possible if you and your mentee do not live close to one another. The most important thing to remember is to always have some form of face-to-face interaction. If it’s difficult for you to meet in person, then making use of video call applications such as Google Hangouts, Whatsapp video call, Skype, or FaceTime is a great alternative! Building a good relationship with your mentee and parents is important, and face-to-face meetings will allow you to build mutual trust, respect, and also ensure that your relationship starts well. All meetings must have a parent/carer present and meetings should be a safe space where challenges and difficult situations can be discussed openly. As a mentor, you would want to always be mindful of our mentoring values and try to be as flexible as possible when setting up the sessions.

3. Encourage your sessions to be mentee-led
Encourage your mentoring sessions to be mentee-led, so that you can understand what your mentee’s needs are. You won’t know the challenges your mentee faces, or the support he or she needs unless they open up and share their views and thoughts with you. Having a session where you let your mentee lead the conversation or even the entire session, you will be a sounding board and your mentee will be able to discover and understand their areas of improvement. This will also help them to be more self-aware and have a better understanding of how they can achieve their future goals.

4. Never arrange mentoring sessions directly with your mentee
Make sure to always set up all your mentoring sessions with the parents and not directly with your mentee. You could set up a 3-way WhatsApp group between you, the parent, and the mentee. This will be helpful so that everyone is up to date and aware of the dates & times of your planned sessions. If the parent insists on contacting their child directly, please notify us and we can talk to the parent about this.

5. Use the resources
We’ll provide you with mentoring worksheets to support you in deciding on topics you’d like to discuss with your mentee. You are welcome to expand on this to make it more focussed on your mentee’s interests and areas in which your mentee would like to learn & grow. You may want to take some time to discuss this with your mentee to decide on topics and themes for your sessions together. You can also make use of our learning directory for more ideas and tools to make your sessions engaging.

6. Read the Mentor Volunteer Handbook
Before you have your first session, take some time to read through the mentoring handbook. The handbook will give you a good idea of what to expect and guide you to have a good start. Here you will find information regarding how to provide session feedback, do’s and don’t, safeguarding, and also tips and ideas for your mentoring term.

7. Complete your mentor log
Take a few minutes to complete the mentor log after each session so that we can stay up to date on how things are going and how many sessions have taken place. This will also be helpful to you so that you can plan your next session, keep track of the progress that you have made, and key areas that you want to continue to focus on.

8. Attend at least one enrichment day
By attending an enrichment day you will have the opportunity to interact and connect with your mentee as well as other young people on the programme. Our Annual Careers Day workshop is the perfect way to get involved and help your mentee plan for the future. Attending an enrichment day would be a valuable and interactive experience that you will both be able to enjoy.

9. End of term
All end-of-term reports should be completed so that we can wrap up the end of term.  A mentor-mentee relationship can have a life long effect on both the mentor and the mentee’s life and being a mentor can be rewarding and can help develop your career, as well as that of your mentee. Once your sessions are completed, make sure that you give your mentee closure, so that the mentee is aware that the relationship has now come to an end. If they are continuing on with the programme to next term, they will normally tell you this in advance. But please do not continue mentoring sessions into the new term. Once the term has ended, we will get in touch with you to share the details of the new term. Feel free to contact us if you ever have questions or concerns.

Friends of GT Scholars – Check out the latest scholar spotlight!

Friends of GT Scholars – Check out the latest scholar spotlight!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

It’s the weekend! It’s been a great week with a bank holiday on Monday and we’ve ended the week with blue skies and sunshine! I really hope that the weather stays this way all weekend and it’s the start of a great summer – we all need it! Here is this week’s newsletter!

Spotlight on one of our scholars on the Headstart Programme – Priscilla
Our latest scholar spotlight interview was with one of our scholars who’s currently in year 11 and was on our Headstart Programme last term. Priscilla is an ambitious young lady with great plans for the future. She is aspiring to become a lawyer one day and she talks about how her Maths and English tutors have helped her to achieve her academic goals and the impact being on the GT Scholars programme has had on her. Read her full interview by following this link.

Could you facilitate an online workshop?
As some of you might already know, we’re in the process of moving our workshops online. At the moment we’re looking for facilitators that can help us to run these workshops online. The workshop topics will range from coding, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and growth-mindset. If you have workshop facilitating experience or you know of someone who would like to get involved, please let me know.

Virtual Roadshow – Can you arrange an introduction?
As part of our new upcoming online programme, we are looking to form new connections with companies that have a global outlook. We’re in the process of setting up a “Virtual Roadshow” and we would like to meet with companies that are interested in helping young people, to explain to them how they can get involved. If you know someone within your company that is responsible for CSR and you can help with setting up an introduction, please get in touch!


Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Marilyn van Heerden

Friends of GT Scholars – Online volunteering opportunities and support!

Friends of GT Scholars – Online volunteering opportunities and support!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Friends of GT Scholars –  Online volunteering opportunities and support!


Happy Friday! Hope you’re having a good day? We’ve been busy getting started with the new term. Right now, innovation and thinking out the box is a must and no one knows when life will return to normal! Over the past few weeks, we’ve been spending a lot of time brainstorming ideas on how we can pivot and still support young people at this crucial time in their lives. Made you curious? Keep an eye out for more information in the next couple of weeks. But for now, here’s this week’s newsletter.


Join our online meetups for volunteers!
We’re not sure when next we’ll all get to meet in person but thank goodness for Zoom! We’re planning to run monthly online meetups for all volunteers! Whether you are a new volunteer or you’ve volunteered with us for a few months or years, you’re more than welcome to join! During the meet-ups, we’ll run a short Q&A for new volunteers, we’ll also have some time for volunteers and members of our team to give advice and share their experiences. The first session is planned for mid-June and I’ll keep you posted with the details. If you’d like to co-host a session or be on our panel of speakers please get in touch!

Can you help us improve our mentoring worksheets!
We’re updating our mentoring worksheets, adding impactful coaching and mentoring questions to the sheets and providing mentees and volunteer mentors with more information, checklists and exercises to help with mentoring sessions. Thank you to everyone who confirmed their availability. We’ve scheduled an online meeting for Wednesday 20th May from 4pm-5pm. If you’d like to join us for the meeting or have mentored with us before and have an idea of topics that you think will make a great addition to our current worksheets, please let me know.

Check out the *NEW* Online Learning Directory!
If you’ve signed up to tutor with us this term or thinking about volunteering as an online tutor then you definitely need to visit the new GT Scholars learning director! This directory hosts more than 250 free learning websites for young people aged 4-18. You can easily narrow down your online resource search by filtering content by age and subject. There are lots of lesson types to choose from, including interactive stories, lessons, games, activities and revision videos. You can visit The Learning Directory by following this link.

Friends of GT Scholars –  Thank you for your help this term!

Friends of GT Scholars – Thank you for your help this term!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Friends of GT Scholars –  Thank you for your help this term!


Ahh….. Friday you wonderful thing! Even though most of us are working from home, the weekend still has that special feeling that it brings! If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, go check out Social Distant.Co set up by Tony, a friend of GT Scholars. They’ve got lots of fun online events that will get you moving and activities to get you meeting new people and spending more time with friends and family! But first, let me share this week’s newsletter with you.

 

Thank you for your help this term!
It’s the end of the term and we’d like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteer tutors and mentors for their help this term! Many of our volunteers this term had to juggle sudden changes in work arrangements alongside volunteering but they still showed up for the young people and the feedback has been great! I’d also like to thank everyone who’s helped in other ways like writing a guest blog, featuring in a volunteer spotlight or getting involved with crowdsourcing group projects! I feel privileged to be part of such a talented network!

Can you volunteer as an online tutor or mentor next term?
I’d like to find out if you’d be available to volunteer as an online tutor or mentor next term? I know some volunteers already confirmed their availability- thanks guys! If you’re interested in joining us next term as an online tutor, you’ll need about 1-hr a week to schedule weekly sessions with your tutee. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a volunteer mentor, you’ll need to be free for 6 hours during the 12-week term. The new term will start late April/early May so please let me know if you’d like to get involved by sending a quick email.

Could you help with creating NEW mentoring worksheets?
We have an upcoming short term volunteer opportunity that you can get involved with. We’re looking for 3-4 volunteers to help us with creating new mentoring worksheets! It’s the perfect volunteer project for you if you’ve ever coached or mentored young people before or have some ideas on how to support them with some of the challenges they face. If you have about 4-5 hours to spare and can join our crowdsourcing project meeting next week Wednesday or Thursday, please get in touch.



Have a fantastic weekend!

Friends of GT Scholars – A little gift for you! Yes, you can open it right away!

Friends of GT Scholars – A little gift for you! Yes, you can open it right away!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Chin up! It’s Friday! I was really looking forward to writing this week’s newsletter, just so that I can share some positive vibes with you! It’s not the greatest time for any of us right now but I am really blown away by all the good deeds people are doing. Like the guy who took his dog for a walk with his drone! You know we just have to pay it forward now! This week we’ve got a couple of favours to ask and… surprise! There’s a special bonus for you at the end!

Have you updated your LinkedIn profile yet?
Have you updated your LinkedIn profile yet since becoming a volunteer with GT scholars? If you’ve recently volunteered with us, don’t forget to add GT Scholars to your LinkedIn experience section! If you haven’t done so already – it’s really easy to do! You just need to add new experience (even if it was in the past) and when it requests for the company you worked at, type in ‘GT Scholars’ or ‘The GT Scholars Programme’. Also, feel free to connect with GT Scholar’s founder, Temi Kamson and she’ll definitely accept your request!!

Could you free up 4 hours next week for an Online Volunteering Project?
So while we’re on the topic of adding volunteering to your LinkedIn profile, why not volunteer a few hours this month or next month?! As mentioned, we’ll be needing volunteers to help us with our online courses and resources for young people. We’ve been really busy lately, with many enquiries from parents. Many have asked if we can collate learning resources that young people can use over the next few weeks. We’re looking for a few volunteers, about 2-3 people, who’d like to get involved in a short project crowdsourcing online learning resources for young people. If you have 4-8 hours to spare next week, please contact us and I’ll fill you in on the details!

Get LinkedIn to work for you!

Now that we’re all stuck at home, it makes perfect sense to boost your online presence and your personal brand. Temi’s been talking about doing this for years – so right now she has no excuse! So to give you some background, Richard is a really good friend of GT Scholars. Temi did a talk in 2018 at one of his London Events – Entrepreneur Business Live (Remember when we used to leave our homes and meet up without a care in the world?) Anyway, Richard also happens to be an authority on LinkedIn with over 20,000 followers! He runs business events in London and Miami and he’s currently offering his Basics of LinkedIn course for free if you register before the end of the week – register now if you can and also send him a thank you from us!

Have a great weekend!

Friends of GT Scholars – It’s all about having some fun and helping young people!

Friends of GT Scholars – It’s all about having some fun and helping young people!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

And Friday rolls over again! With everything that’s going on in the world lately, I’ve decided to do something fun this weekend. I believe everyone needs to have more fun because it relieves stress, uplifts your mood and it can even boost productivity and innovation!  So whatever you’ve got planned for the weekend, I hope you’ll find some time to have a bit of fun! If Hillary can, so can we! Since we’re on the subject, here are some fun volunteering opportunities for you to get involved with.

Would you like to help out with our study skills workshop?
We’re looking for volunteers to help out at our ‘Annual Ready, Set Go: Acing Your Exams!’ workshop, which is a study skills workshop to help young people ace their exams. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet our scholars and interact with young people from a range of backgrounds, helping them with some fun skill-building activities. The workshop will take place on Saturday 14th March at Goldsmiths University and will run from 10am – 4pm. Please let me know if you’re available to help on the day!

Fancy featuring in our volunteer spotlight?
We’re looking for volunteers to feature in our next volunteer spotlight video interview series (we promise to film your good side!) We’ve still got a few spots left in our schedule and would love to hear more about your volunteer experience and how you’ve been able to help your scholar! Camera shy? Don’t worry, we can set up a phone interview instead. If you’ve volunteered with us in the last 6 months and would like to feature in our next spotlight, please get in touch! I’ll also be making some calls in the next couple of weeks.

How to make the most out of the volunteering experience!
Enjoying yourself is one of the most important factors in making the most of your volunteering experience. This is why it is so important to engage in volunteer work that is in line with your passion, interests, and personal goals. Volunteering is about giving up some of your time and using your skills to help others. But have you ever thought about how volunteering can make a significant impact on your life as well? To find out how volunteering can impact your life and how to make the most out of your volunteering experience follow this link to our blog.

 

Have a great weekend!

Friends of GT Scholars – Exciting event volunteer opportunities you can look forward to!

Friends of GT Scholars – Exciting event volunteer opportunities you can look forward to!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

Happy Friday! It’s raining again today and we’ve already really had our fair share of storms this year! Over the past few weeks we’ve had Storm Brendan, Ciara, Dennis and now on its way this weekend it’s Storm Jorge! Thankfully the day after tomorrow is officially the start of Spring and we’ve got a few exciting events lined up for you to get involved with!

Would you like to help out with our study skills workshop?
We’re looking for volunteers to help out at our ‘Annual Ready, Set, Go!’ workshop, which is a study skills workshop to help young people ace their exams. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet our scholars and interact with young people from a range of backgrounds, helping them with some skill-building activities. The workshop will take place on Saturday 14th March at Goldsmiths University and will run from 10am – 4pm. If you’re interested in getting involved please get in touch!

Upcoming Inspiring Future Leaders workshops
By now you might already be familiar with our new leadership programme, Inspiring Future Leaders. The programme focuses on helping young boys, between the ages of 12-14 overcome challenges, develop leadership skills and reach their aspirations. The programme includes 10 skill-building and enrichment sessions that take place during its 6-month run. If you’d like to help out at any of these workshops, please get in touch. For a full schedule on workshop and dates please click here.

Would you like to be a speaker at Careers Day 2020?
Would you like to be part of the panel of speakers at this year’s Careers Day? I’m busy planning the panel of speakers for the day and I’m looking for a few more volunteers from different backgrounds ie the financial sector, technology sector, legal sector and the medical sector. As a speaker, you’ll need to prepare a 2-3min talk sharing your career success story and informing young people and their parents about opportunities available to young people, you’ll also need to be available to be on the panel and answer questions from the young people. Thanks to everyone who’s already responded to state their interest! Please let me know if you’d like to get involved!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friends of GT Scholars – Looking for Speakers for Careers Day 2020!

Friends of GT Scholars – Looking for Speakers for Careers Day 2020!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

It’s finally Friday! It’s been really busy over here with the launch of the new Inspiring Future Leaders programme, with two back-to-back workshops yesterday and today. Thanks to all the volunteers and workshop facilitators who are helping on these days! You’re the best! There are lots more events coming up this year, so please stay tuned for more details. Let’s start with what’s lined up for the next few weeks.

 

Would you like to be a speaker at Careers Day 2020?
The 5th Annual GT Scholars Career Day at Goldsmiths University is coming up soon and we’re really looking forward to it. It’s one of our most popular workshops and it’s always great to bring parents, scholars and volunteers together. I’m busy planning the panel of speakers for the day and I’m looking for volunteers from different career backgrounds to speak on the day, sharing their career success stories and opportunities available with young people and their parents. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch with me.

Do you know of a great venue?
We’ve got over 10 events lined up over the next 6 months and we still need to confirm venues for a few of them. The perfect venue for our scholar workshops and volunteer meetups should be central, big enough to host up to 35 people and preferably bright with AV facilities. If you know of a great space at your workplace or local to you that we can contact to enquire about rates and venue availability please let me know. I’d really appreciate your suggestions!

How to make mentoring sessions impactful
The Inspiring Future Leaders programme has officially kicked off and that means we now have two great programmes offering volunteer mentoring opportunities. There’s definitely a lot of mentoring going around! It might not be your first mentoring rodeo or you might be getting ready for your very first mentoring session or perhaps you might be thinking of becoming a volunteer mentor. Whichever the case this blog can help you make your sessions interesting and impactful!

Have a fantastic weekend!