The AQA Unlocking Potential programme kicked off for another year in early December with 80 students from 20 schools across the UK taking part in two launch events in Manchester & Guildford. The programme started back in 2012 and since then, over 300 young people have taken part in the programme since its launch.

AQA Unlocking Potential is an eight month ‘transformational’ mentoring programme for young people aged from 11-19 years of age, run jointly with education charity AQA. The programme is targeted at young people who are facing challenging personal circumstances, who their teachers believe would benefit considerably from additional support.

At the launch events, students, teachers and athlete mentors all meet for the first time and spend the day getting to know each other, finding out more about the programme and also some of the journeys their athlete mentors have been on. Volunteers from AQA also take part and help ensure that ice-breakers and group activities all run smoothly.


Athlete mentors will visit their schools three times between now and the mid-point events in February and March where the schools will all meet up again to renew friendships, review their progress, and pitch for funding for their social action projects. Park Community School attended the Guildford event on 4th December.

Janice Norman - Teacher Coordinator

Absolutely superb day for the students from Park Community School who have been so privileged to be selected for the Dame Kelly Holmes Unlocking Potential Programme. The Students are delighted to meet Hannah Beharry who is going to be their Athlete mentor for this . A massive thank you to everyone involved in this program but more especially to AQA and Dame Kelly Holmes for making this happen. You cannot believe how much this will impact on their lives and all the pupils at our school. Thank you so much for this opportunity. 

Jasmine  - Student

We are so excited to have been selected out of all the schools and colleges...only 80 students selected! We really could not believe it when we were selected! We all shouted with excitement! So did our teacher Mrs Norman and my parents! How lucky are we! Thank you AQA and Dame Kelly Holmes trust... we're very very happy you have made our year! 

We'd like to wish all the students taking part of the programme the best of luck and hope they find it a rewarding experience. You will be able to follow the students from the schools and colleges selected over the next nine months via Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime, do check out our review of the 2017/18 programme.