Thursday 12 April: Today, 96 business volunteers and 96 students graduated from the Student Mentoring Programme which is run by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI). The Student Mentoring programme, partners School Completion Programme schools, mainly DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) with a local business which then provides mentors to a number of students in the final two years of post-primary school.
The programme is aimed at encouraging students to complete their Leaving Certificate and to give insights into the working world and varying career opportunities.
Business in the Community Ireland is the network for responsible business. The Student Mentoring programme is part of its on-going work to help businesses have a more positive impact on the communities in which they do business. Since 2000, it has partnered 356 targeted schools with businesses through its range of education programmes. These include the Student Mentoring Programme and also the Skills @ Work initiative. Together, through these programmes, over 40,000 students in Ireland have been impacted.
Minister for Education & Skills, Mr Richard Bruton, T.D. attended today’s event in Dublin to congratulate the latest participants and commented on the success of the programme, “I congratulate all the business volunteers and students on their participation in this programme. Business in the Community Ireland is providing a wonderful example of how businesses can actively engage with schools in their community and make tangible impacts on young peoples’ lives”.
Previous graduates from the mentoring programme spoke at today’s event and explained the impact of having a mentor on their lives and career paths.
Germaine Noonan, Education Programme Manager, BITCI commented: “Businesses have a unique role to play when it comes to mentoring young people as they give a different view of the working world and the options available to students. Businesses themselves benefit as it’s a great way to engage their own employees in the local communities in which they operate”
The Student Mentoring Programme is part funded by participating businesses and Tusla. In 2017 basis.point. has provided funding to support the expansion of the programme to more schools and students around the country.
For the 2016/2018 programme, employees from the following businesses participated as mentors: Allianz WWC, Diageo, Investec, Limerick IT, Horse Racing Ireland and Pramerica (Donegal).
The Schools involved were Presentation SS, Warrenmount, D7; St. Dominic’s SS, Ballyfermot; Marino College, Dublin 3; St. John’s De La Salle, Ballyfermot; Mulroy CC, Donegal; Curragh PP, Kildare and Thomond CC, Limerick.
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basis.point is the Irish Fund Industry’s initiative to make a difference to those in need. basis.point’s aim is to make a real contribution to improving educational opportunities to those in need in Ireland, particularly young people. basis.point provides grants to charities to fund programmes and initiatives that focus on education and which aim to make a sustainable and tangible difference to those that live in poverty.