“As you see beyond the boundaries of your businesses…our schools see beyond the walls of our classrooms”
Minister for Education Norma Foley’s powerful comment to the audience at our recent Mentoring Celebration Event, recognising the contribution and commitment of our many businesses and schools who participate in the Student Mentoring programme.
On 7th April 2022 Business in the Community Ireland’s Student Mentoring Programme celebrated the achievement of it’s graduates in an inspiring and uplifting virtual Mentoring Celebration. 132 business volunteers and students graduated on the day. Guest speakers included Minister for Education Ms. Norma Foley TD, Eoin Speight Head of Family Office at Lars Windhorst Private Office and former mentee and Past Pupil of Patrician College, Finglas, Jamie Maher, mentee and student at Holy Child CS, Catherine Duffy General Manager, Northern Trust, Limerick, Tomás Sercovich CEO BITCI and Germaine Noonan Head of Education BITCI.
Minister Foley called the programme a “terrific initiative” and went on to say “the link between business and schools can only be for the benefit of our students. This is a superb programme. I am extremely impressed with it.”
Watch the Mentoring Celebration 2022 here.
Student Mentoring provides students with a mentor from the world of work to encourage and assist them through their final years at school. The programme encourages students to stay in school, promotes their self-esteem and develops their awareness of the workplace. The benefits for businesses involved with the Mentoring Programme include improved reputation and loyalty in the local community, a better-skilled local workforce from which to draw future employees and improved employee morale and motivation.
The final two years of education are extremely important for students. The Student Mentoring programme provides employees with the opportunity to be a positive influence in a young person’s life. The programme is offered as a 2-year or 1-year programme to Leaving Certificate students as a much-needed support during these difficult times. 265 students and mentors are participating this year. 2,279 students and 2,109 mentors having participated to date. Currently, there are 26 Student Mentoring programmes.
Incredibly, this year has seen an increase in the number of partnerships from last year, a real testament to the generosity of businesses to become involved and schools who embrace “an openness to learning in a new way” as Minister Foley put it.
Eoin Speight, former mentee, spoke highly about the impact mentoring has had on him “I never would have been able to embark on this career if it wasn’t for participating in the mentoring programme.” He encouraged students to stay in touch with their mentors and use the power of the networks they had built.
Catherine Duffy, General Manager at Northern Trust, inspired the students by saying, “you are our future employees – you are who we want working with us.”
By Diane Beckingham, BITCI