How business mentors are helping to inspire young people to success
In my role as Managing Director of Mosaic, a charity committed to improving the future of young people living in deprived areas in the UK and internationally, I am always extremely grateful to the many people who volunteer their time to help us towards achieving our mission.
Quite simply, without the generosity and support of our network of mentors, we would not be able to progress our important work. With mentors at the heart of our success, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the brilliant work of our recent ‘Mentor Hero of the month’ Brooke Greville.
Mosaic has several programmes operating across primary and secondary schools, prisons, as well as internationally. We are now approaching one of the most exciting events in our calendar — our annual Enterprise Challenge competition.
Launched during Global Entrepreneurship Week with James Caan CBE and other leading entrepreneurs in November last year, the competition aims to foster and promote entrepreneurial skills amongst pupils in secondary schools across England.
Last year, nearly 4,000 students from over 100 schools took part and after a series of regional and national finals, the overall winner was a team from Skinners’ Academy in Hackney, North East London.
The mentor of the winning team was Brooke Greville, Chief Executive of XineX, an investment company in technology, sport and equestrian-related ventures.
Looking back at the event, Brooke said, “The success of Skinners’ Academy was the highlight of a very busy business year for me personally. I have come to really care for the school and I am confident that this year’s team will fight hard to defend their title.”
Brooke decided to become a Mosaic mentor in 2013 after being introduced to the charity by Uzair Bawany, a Mosaic board member. With a demanding job, Brooke saw mentoring as a great opportunity to inspire young people and help them work towards building successful careers. “It is exceptionally rewarding to be a mentor and to make a difference to young peoples’ lives,” he said.
|As for his advice for any current or prospective mentors, Brooke said, “It is important for students to feel that the mentor is really committed; it makes them more likely to commit to attending every session. With a demanding job, it is difficult to find the time every week, but it’s very important.”
For me, one of the areas of my role I most enjoy is watching the relationship develop between our mentors and the mentees. It can initially be a daunting experience for both sides: for the mentees, it may be the first time they have seriously considered their futures and what they could achieve, and for the mentors, leaving the office and returning to the classroom can feel just as challenging.
The feedback I often receive from our mentors is not only do they feel a sense of achievement from developing and helping their mentees towards a positive future, they also feel equally inspired by the relationship as they return to their normal jobs with a fresh perspective on their work and lives.
The success of the Skinners’ Academy team with Brooke’s mentorship is exactly why we run the Enterprise Challenge; to celebrate the outstanding achievements young people in underprivileged areas are capable of achieving with the dedicated support of our mentors. I am very excited to see what the students have in store for us this year, and I hope you will join as a mentor in next year’s competition.
Jonathan Freeman is Managing Director of Mosaic