A Stoke-on-Trent company run by two cousins, has been chosen to deliver programmes in schools to increase university take up.
Together We Make a Difference (TWMAD), based in the Roslyn Works, Longton run coaching and mentoring sessions to help raise aspirations of young people and motivate them to reach their full potential.
It’s part of the Higher Horizons Plus scheme – a component of the new Government funded National Collaborative Outreach Programme which has been created to increase the numbers of students from those postcode areas where fewer numbers enter into higher education.
TWMAD have been named as one of the providers nationally that schools or academies can work with to deliver the outreach work.
The company which is owned and run by Managing Directors Trevor and Marvin Molloy have been running programmes in schools across Staffordshire for the last five years.
The postcode areas that the students live in determines if they are eligible for the (Higher Horizons +) programmes.
38-year-old Trevor said: “Many areas in the city qualify and we are delighted to have been chosen to help deliver schemes in schools where we can actively increase the numbers of young people in Stoke-on-Trent going into higher education".
He added: “We work with young people who are disengaged, they may have low self-esteem, aren’t performing well at school and have low inspirations.
"Often doing well at school is the last thing on a young person’s mind if things are difficult at home, they don’t know where their next meal’s coming from or they’re already part of a gang culture.”
35-year-old Marvin explained: “The programmes we run are about attitudes and behaviours. We help change the mindset of the students and give them a better outlook.
"With our ‘Ignite Your Future,’ programme we use coaching, training and talking to help build confidence, boost self-worth and give them more direction when they come to choose options and career ideas.
"Sometimes students don’t want to talk to teachers and aren’t in a place where they can talk to people at home - we can build a rapport and trust with the kids we’re working with, we can help make a real difference.”
TWMAD are already working with Birches Head Academy. Lead Teacher Jermaine Gordon said: “The students have gained a positive experience completing their 15-week mentoring program.
"Students are more focused, confident and determined to succeed. They have a better understanding of themselves and are now more self-motivated.
"Together We Make A Difference have engaged with parents during parent consultation evenings and even visited students whilst on work experience. I would truly recommend this program to all educational and training establishments.”
If schools or academies want to find out more, they can go to: https://higherhorizons.co.uk/