If you are a graduate from a UK university then it's likely that you remember your years of study with immense fondness.
For those fortunate enough, there was the carefree abandon of living in a new city away from parental censure, shared kitchens, cleaning rotas fastidiously ignored by housemates and seemingly endless parties, with celebrations only occasionally interrupted by last-minute library marathons ahead of impending deadlines. All of it great fun and a source of stories and happy memories that stay with you throughout your adult life.
University is a place where great things can be achieved, minds are opened and lives changed for the better. So it's vital that all young people feel that it's a viable and achievable option for them after leaving school. Pleasingly, through the efforts of schools, successive governments and universities themselves, there's been a rise in the number of young people from less fortunate backgrounds successfully entering Higher Education.
However, it still remains the case that if you've grown up in deprived circumstances you are significantly less likely to go to university than your more affluent peers. Here at Mosaic, our Secondary School Mentoring Programme works to ensure that young people are given the support and encouragement they need to reach Higher Education, if it is the right choice for them.
This can mean spending time with pupils to improve their study and organisational skills, or opening their eyes to the panoply of opportunity out there in the world of work. Sometimes our mentees simply need validation for their own aspirations with reassurance and encouragement from their mentors that, with application and focus, anything is indeed possible.
To this end I am extremely keen for undergraduate and postgraduate students to join our mentoring teams. It doesn't require a huge amount of time, but the benefits are significant. Not only will you be helping a young person fulfil their potential, and there's little more satisfying than this, but our current mentors tell us that the experience has taught them a lot about themselves as well.
If you join our secondary school programme you'll only be a few years older than mentees, meaning you'll be ideally placed to pass on insight informed by your own recent experiences. It would also be a great entry for your CV, and while this is not a reason in itself to sign up, it's inevitable that future employers will look favourably on candidates who've given up time to help others.
At Mosaic we believe that everyone has a right to the very best start in life, unimpeded by circumstance. By volunteering as a mentor you can help us get closer to achieving this aim.
If you would like to help inspire and guide young adults, become a Mosaic mentor. For more information please call 020 7566 8734, visit www.mosaicnetwork.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org