A recent report from Barnardo's highlighted, once again, the trouble that a lack of government funding is causing for socially disadvantaged young people.
The report: Staying the course: Disadvantaged young people's experiences in the first term of the 16-19 Bursary Fund, revealed that many students, impacted by the abolishment of the Education Maintenance Allowance, no longer have the means to carry on learning, or are having to sacrifice meals in order to pay for learning materials.
Despite this disturbing revelation, my recent involvement with HRH The Prince of Wales' charitable initiative, Mosaic, proved to me that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel of inadequate funding.
I took part in a Mosaic Seeing is Believing visit led by Tidjane Thiam, Group Chief Executive of Prudential. The purpose of the visit was to see Mosaic's work in providing role models to disadvantaged children in inner city schools.
We visited two schools including Central Foundation Girls' School and Thomas Buxton Primary School, both in Tower Hamlets, London - the third most deprived borough in the UK.
A common problem that these children faced was a lack of nutrition - many parents simply cannot afford the £2 a day it costs to feed a child.
It was wonderful to see that despite these and other difficulties, through the leadership of the head teachers and mentoring from Mosaic, these schools were thriving.
At the heart of the work Mosaic does is a belief in the power of positive thinking. Mosaic mentors encourage mentees to understand that it is not only what they know, have or do that will lead them to success, but rather how they think.
They help children understand that whilst they may not have a choice in how much money they have or what stereotypes they are subjected to, they do have a choice to determine how they think and to focus on their strengths.
There is a huge difference in outcomes between those thinking positively and accepting their responsibility for creating their future and those simply accepting the cards they have been dealt. This approach is paying off - a recent report from Demos showed that Mosaic mentees were more likely to aspire towards higher education.
I believe Mosaic, and other organisations like it, are only at the tip of an iceberg and, with more time and effort from volunteers, can contribute to a much needed transformation of how education is provided in disadvantaged communities. This can have substantial benefits for wider society, for example, increased employment bringing higher government revenues and closing of skills gaps allowing the UK to flourish on the global economic stage. With almost 20% of 16-24 year olds being NEETs at the moment, at the same time as employers reporting higher skills gaps than ever, it's more critical than ever to help our young people become economically active.
I've personally experienced much of the difficulties Mosaic's mentees have to go through: rising from difficult economic circumstances and refusing to be bound by stereotyping. With the support of my parents and one particular teacher, I'm now in a position where I can offer a helping hand to others. The work of Mosaic is allowing this virtuous circle to expand.
In the coming years we will see more headlines about cuts to education funding. However, as long as there are organisations such as Mosaic facilitating the power of positive thinking in those most vulnerable, there will remain a light at the end of the tunnel to which we slowly come closer.