With less than a month to go until the mid-point events in this year's AQA Unlocking Potential programmes, most of the athletes will have visited the schools two or three times now and planning will be under way for their social action projects. Four students take part from each school and athletes visit regularly between October and June to deliver workshops, sessions and help to plan a project that will benefit the local community.

Following the launch, the first sessions are all about the athletes building a rapport with the students, getting them to understand themselves, think about what has shaped them to this point, and what are the key factors for them being successful. 

  

All of our athletes have an amazing story to tell. Reflecting back on the athlete’s story, we ask students to produce a list of words that contributed to their success i.e. dedication, communication, resilience etc. They then ask what other words are important to  success and in particular, success for them as students and young people. This helps to inform what success looks like and helps them have a goal to work with by the end of the programme.

At the mid-point event, students have to pitch their social action project to a 'Dragon's Den' panel to gain investment for their project. Our athletes will be using the next session to firm up ideas for this in advance of the pitch, ensuring that projects meet the goals of a social action project and have a positive impact on the community or tackle a cause or social problem.

  

Kelvin Batey is working at three schools on this year's programme:

"The AQA Unlocking Potential program has been brilliant to work on over the last few years, and this year’s students have continued with the positive sessions I have become used to.
 
They are all making big steps forward with their own personal journeys on this program while currently putting together some inspirational social action projects that will make a big impact on their local communities.
 
With half the program still left to run, I am really looking forward to seeing more progress being made by each student in their own development, relationships with each other and the positive impact they will have on other people’s lives."

We'll be catching up again with the students, athletes and teachers at the mid-point event on the 3rd March in Guildford and 5th March in Manchester.


AQA Unlocking Potential is an eight month transformational mentoring programme for young people aged 11-19 years of age, run jointly with education charity AQA.