by Lynda Sterling
Four weeks in to working for ROC with the ROC Champions project and I’m loving every minute of it. It has been a busy time getting to know my way around the FUSE, meeting all the team here at ROC HQ, staff meetings, getting set up on email, twitter and facebook (very important!), planning for the ROC Champions workshops alongside Sarah and of course getting to know all the brilliant Mentors and Mentees that are taking part in the first ROC Champions Programme through our weekly Workshops.
In just a short space of time I have seen so much potential and inspiring qualities in these young people, many of whom come from complicated backgrounds, and am beginning to get to know their individual ways, personalities, gifts and fears.
ROC Champions is a Peer Mentoring programme that encourages and facilitates Year 9’s mentoring Year 7’s through a series of fun and creative workshops that offers them new skills, experiences, insight into creative industries and the opportunity to build their own confidence, esteem and resilience.
In the last four workshops the ROC Champions have danced to Macklemore, embraced an amazingly cheesy warm-up to help remember our TOP TIPS (it worked brilliantly and the young people surprisingly loved it!), practiced a dance for Celebrate Partington, designed costumes, Recorded Vocals, looked deeper into the lyrics of pop songs, drew their own responses and have started to write lyrics for their own songs. We certainly cram a lot into our hour long sessions each week!
A highlight for me has been seeing some of the quieter young people, both Mentors and mentees, begin to come out of their shells, speak up, accept themselves just as they are, try new things, overcome fears and work with their emotions to create some brilliant work. And there is so much more to come.
Whilst some of their behaviour can be challenging, it is incredibly motivating and rewarding to see how these young people can transform not just their own lives but that of their mentee too, through the skills taught and opportunities given on this peer buddy mentoring programme.
I will leave you with some lyrics written by a Mentoring Pair just this week:
Be louder, be stronger.
Be who you want to be.