Here we go again – Samuel Rhodes Programme 2024!

Here we go again – Samuel Rhodes Programme 2024!

Written by Maria Tonchievici, Deputy Head of Programme – Education & Mentoring Works

The partnership between Euromonitor International and Samuel Rhodes School (SRS) has a longstanding history, dating back to 2015. Initially, Euromonitor offered an unstructured and flexible mentoring program to the school’s students, but since 2017, the collaboration expanded including the BIG Alliance and a SEND consultant.
Leveraging their combined expertise in overseeing school mentoring initiatives and catering to students with additional needs, a comprehensive set of resources and training materials were designed and adapted every year. Additionally, they provided ongoing support to both mentors and students throughout the duration of the program.

The overarching objectives of the program encompass several key aims:

  1. Developing Students’ Confidence, Communication Skills, and Independence: The program aims to empower students by fostering their self-assurance, enhancing their ability to communicate effectively, and promoting independence.
  2. Increasing Students’ Knowledge of the Workplace and Work-Related Skills: Another focus of the program is to augment students’ understanding of the professional environment and equip them with essential skills relevant to the workplace.
  3. Raising Students’ Aspirations and Improving Engagement: The program endeavours to elevate students’ aspirations, encouraging them to aim higher and actively engage in their educational and professional pursuits.

The program designed for a cohort of students with special education needs from Samuel Rhodes School is specifically tailored to support their educational engagement, facilitate informed decision-making about their future pathways, and ultimately guide them towards successful transitions into the workforce or further education. Here’s an overview of the program:

  1. Mentor Matching and Training: Each of the eleven students is paired with a mentor from Euromonitor who has undergone specialized training to effectively support students with special education needs.
  2. Program Structure: The program consists of ten meetings structured as follows:
    • Launch Event: The program kicks off with a launch event where mentors and mentees gather to initiate the mentoring journey.
    • One-to-One Mentoring Sessions: Eight one-to-one mentoring sessions are conducted, each lasting 60 minutes, held at the Euromonitor office. These sessions provide personalised support and guidance to the students.
    • Celebration Event: The program culminates with a celebration event attended by mentors, mentees, and parents, marking the completion of the mentoring journey.
  3. Activities and Games: Mentors engage students in various activities and games designed to enhance their confidence and develop essential skills for the workplace. These activities may include role-playing exercises, team-building activities, and problem-solving tasks.
  4. Hands-on Work Experience: A unique aspect of this year’s program is the opportunity for students to gain hands-on work experience in specific departments such as Communications, IT, Human Resources, Reception, and barista training. This practical experience exposes students to different job roles, environments, and tasks, further preparing them for future employment opportunities.

Through this collaborative effort, the aim is to positively impact the students of Samuel Rhodes School, helping them to thrive academically, socially, and professionally.

Here are some quotes from mentors participating in the program:

“Tuesdays have been my favourite day in the office during the past weeks. This program had a very positive impact on my day-to-day job – It was such an energy booster!”

“I could notice that some of them remembered episodes, conversations, and situations from past weeks. I loved seeing how they gained confidence week by week.”

“I noticed a massive improvement from the last time I took part in the program and loved the fact we were rotating and mentoring different students each week. The mix of students and activities was great.”

“This is one of the best volunteering programs I took part in from Euromonitor. It’s very well organised and the most fulfilling.”

“Very good organisation and practical activities like working at reception, coffee shop, making video calls, etc.”

These quotes highlight the positive impact of the program on both the mentors and the students, emphasising aspects such as increased confidence, skill development, and the fulfilment derived from volunteering. The practical nature of the activities, such as working in different roles and engaging in hands-on tasks, is also appreciated by the mentors.

We are wishing all the best of luck to our new cohort of mentors from Euromonitor and students from Samuel Rhodes School.

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