Year ten students have been shown how to change negative behaviour and work on their aspirations for the future.
Three high schools in Worthing, Chatsmore, Davison and Durrington, and The Angmering School are among those taking part in the Be the Change programme, which was launched last year to help raise the confidence, aspirations and job prospects of 13 and 14-year-olds.
Karen Jefford, community manager at Durrington High School, said: “If only we could bottle the fantastic and inspirational work of these sessions. We saw our students in such different light and feel proud of their involvement and their desire to want to make change and to Be the Change. We’d love to roll this out to whole year groups.”
Having previously taken part in activities and a workplace visit, designed to improve confidence and employability, the students were invited to a Catch Up and Inspire event at Fontwell Park Racecourse last week.
Interactive team challenges encouraged them to use workplace and life skills, such as prioritisation and working to deadlines, while honing creativity and spontaneity.
They were also asked to explore key areas of their life to create a road map to success, drawing up a tangible set of goals and targets for their short and mid-term future.
Rosanna Farrar, project director, said: “Catching up with the students again really gave them a chance to reflect on their lives and some of the most common problems and barriers they face on a day-to-day basis.
“Reconnecting with their business mentors from last year also really helped them to renew their motivations to make positive changes and aim high in life.
“Their honesty and courage was once again really powerful to see and we believe they are now even clearer about what they want to achieve in the future.”
The conference gave students and their business mentors the chance to reconnect and discuss progress, with funding support from the Sussex Learning Network.
Sarah Williams, network director, said: “Be the Change is a really innovative way to inspire and support disengaged or disadvantaged young people.
“Feedback received from students and teachers has told us that for many students the experience has been life changing. We are proud to be supporting an initiative that encourages young people from across Sussex to be the best they can be and to make the most of future opportunities.”
Be the Change is a collaboration between LoveLocalJobs.com and Graham Moore, a former teacher who now runs social business humanutopia.
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