Leila’s Blog, Urban Synergy Summer activities

Thorpe Park 2010Last week saw the end of the summer holidays, and we at Urban Synergy celebrated in full swing with a trip to Thorpe Park. Mentors and mentees hopped aboard the coach for the day-trip, as a reward for the hard work they’ve put into the year thus far. After a few rides on the roller coasters, luckily I’m still fit enough to write a new blog post!

As mentioned, the mentees are truly progressing through our mentoring scheme. Many of our bright young mentees received their GCSE results last week, and all did us very proud. One particular student, (who at one stage gave up on studying) achieved a brilliant 3 A*s, 1 A, 3 Bs, 4 Cs, which is amazing! She had also spoken at our Annual General Meeting in Easter this year, describing how much she has progressed since starting the program – see the brave speech she did below!

Thomson Reuters Work ExperienceAsides from that, we’ve also had our mentees shadow professionals at Thomson Reuters, as part of their two-week work experience. Contrary to speculation on the validity of work experience, we can assure our mentees had valid training, researching and helping to plan presentations- no tea/coffee making for our bright students! We also have provided many more placements in IT and barrister organisations- so watch this space for more news.

Pineapple Luncheon ClubAll the mentees have come a long way, but there is one last thing I must include. Another selection of young people volunteered at a Senior Citizens day-care centre, assisting with their day to day tasks with smiles on their faces. One mentee, (Rymel) was so surprised at how much energy and love the elderly had – changing his perception of senior citizens. And just to prove how grateful they were for the mentees help, I simply must add this quote. Many of the elderly people enthused over the students and simply said,

“it’s restored our faith in young people”.

Only few words from an older, wiser person could describe the importance of what we at Urban Synergy, are hoping to achieve.

We are now in the process of training 30 additional mentors and entering into partnership with a local government initiative to get them mentoring in the community.Mentor Training Summer 2010

Heidi Alexander, Trevor Cole & Leila Thomas at House of CommonsHeidi Alexander mentioned in her Maiden Speech, “How we bridge that gap is a big challenge. Excellent schools can expand the horizons of our youngsters, but I cannot help but think that mentoring schemes, such as those run by Urban Synergy in my constituency, may also have some of the answers. By providing accessible role models and giving an insight into different careers, they fire the imagination of the next generation.”

Urban Synergy is also in process of converting into a charity.

Until next time- have a great week.

Leila