Tessa is one of the highly-trained and dedicated volunteers delivering our unique programme to schoolchildren. Her commitment to Making The Leap helps us to raise the aspirations of those from the toughest schools so that they can become all their talent and hard work will allow them to be. This is her story…

‘I didn’t realise just how much I had to offer, despite not having officially worked for a good many years, until I found myself in front of a class of fifteen year olds who had never experienced anything other than school life. The sense of achievement you feel, when the penny drops, and one or more of your students really ‘get’ the fact that it is only through their own efforts that they are going to find a worthwhile job is priceless. I particularly like the modules which provide the students with the confidence to look you in the eye and sell themselves, having given them the vocabulary and the tools with which to do so.

The biggest challenge during my coaching sessions for Making The Leap is to get the students to really believe in themselves and to recognise the strengths which they all have. Some of the ‘roleplay’ sessions allow me to witness these varied strengths. We can then build on these to create a story about themselves which will be attractive to prospective employers.

The days I volunteer for Making The Leap are usually the best days of my week. Teaching a class of fifteen year olds can seem incredibly daunting but, given time, they become individuals who all have something different to offer. Once they realise that you are only there to help them, the relationship becomes incredibly rewarding.’

If you’d like to join Tessa in our fantastic team of volunteers, email volunteering@mtl.org.uk. You could make a real difference!

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