A group of West Lancashire secondary school students are looking to the future after taking part in a countywide outreach initiative designed to support young people’s aspirations.
The iCan mentoring programme saw 20 year 9 pupils from Up Holland High School participating in a series of interactive sessions to inspire and encourage young people to start considering the opportunities available to them upon leaving school.
Delivered by outreach officers and undergraduate student ambassadors from Future U, the programme enables pupils to explore their individual strengths, interests and ambitions through a range of educational and career related activities.
Split into six sections – Think it, See it, Feel it, Touch it, Be it, Do it – pupils were guided to complete a ‘Golden Ticket’ for their futures. Student ambassadors shared their own experiences, providing guidance on what to expect from studying at college and university.
Future U is a collaborative programme which creates opportunities for young people in Lancashire in order to increase rates of progression onto higher education, in areas where participation is lower than expected.
Jessica Richmond, an outreach officer at Future U, said: “It’s great to see the impact that our student ambassadors have had on the pupils. The student ambassadors act as role models and give them an insight into what the pupils might like to do in their future. Throughout the programme the pupils take part in a series of activities to explore their strengths and interests to ultimately come up with a plan for their future.
“The pupils at Up Holland have applied themselves to the programme fantastically and I’m proud of what they have achieved over the past eight weeks.”
Christine Cooney, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at Up Holland High School, said: “The Future U sessions challenged and inspired our students to examine their skills, interests and aspirations and where they might lead them in life. The facilitators were great – young, lively and articulate, they were fantastic role models for the students”.
Adam G, a year 9 pupil at Up Holland High School, said: “What I have enjoyed most about the session is getting a clearer vision of what I want to do in the future. I learned that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I want to be a broadcast journalist.”
Matthew C, also a year 9 pupil at Up Holland High School, added: “I have enjoyed knowing my career options and what job could be for me. I have learned that there are a lot more jobs out there that could be better for me. I want to be an electrical engineer. Thanks for giving us an insight into new jobs and making me think more about my future.”