One Degree Youth Mentoring

A Community project London, United Kingdom

One Degree is a mentoring charity that improves the GCSE performance and self-belief of London students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

What is One Degree?

One Degree recruits young professionals working in London to mentor students from disadvantaged backgrounds, or students facing struggling circumstances, through their English and Maths GCSE’s. One Degree students participate in a rounded 25 session programme including revision planning, subject tuition and mentoring, inspirational guest speakers, personal development workshops and team building, breakfast and lunch, and post programme work experience. This is all aimed to help improve their academic performance and self-belief and thereby avoid the possibility of them becoming NEET’s (not in education, employment or training). 

One Degree works directly with people who are at the margins of society. A focus on building stronger communities by overcoming isolation and fragmentation and encouraging inclusion, connection and integration. We have become embedded in the Brent (London) community and can identify and channel the potential within this community.

We do this by creating a personal and academic journey designed to support, guide and inspire our struggling youth. One of the key defining aspects is that we believe an A-C grade in GCSE Maths and English are the "passports" that will change a student’s life direction by opening up possibilities. We achieve this with the help of volunteer mentors; learning through technology; inspirational and motivational guest speakers; a balance of group activities and team sports along with healthy energy boosting food; and qualified teachers.

Who do we work with?

Basit Hashmi joined One Degree in 2010. He was failing his English and Math’s GCSE’s. With low predicted grades, he needed some guidance to achieve his unrealised potential. Through the dedication and perseverance of the One Degree volunteer mentors, he not only passed his exams but he achieved a B in English and B in Maths.  Basit is now studying Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies at University, something that simply would not have been possible without these grade improvements.

Sadaf Ahmadi, a 2013 One Degree student, achieved an A in both English Language and Literature thanks to a few dedicated mentors and her own self-persistence. The experience gave her a feeling of success and accomplishment, something missing from school. She also now felt like she belonged somewhere, in this case, the family that One Degree created. She returned to One Degree as an ambassador the next year and now, as of 2015, is a volunteer mentor herself.

These examples prove that the unrealised potential of our students can be re-directed and set GCSE students onto a life changing path. We have opened a few doors. Now the students can decide which ones to go through.

How do we do it?

We believe an A-C grades in GCSE Maths and English are the "passports" that will change our student’s life direction. We achieve this in the following ways:

  • Volunteer mentors – Regular and consistent learning and revision leading up to student GSCE exams embeds the practice, planning, time-keeping and confidence the students require.
  • Learning through technologyThe use of an iPad per student allowing fun, modern learning while contributing to significant savings and environmental responsibility (proposed funding from The Gosling Foundation)
  • Speakers – Inspirational and motivational speakers help give students direction, ambition and aspiration.
  • Sports – A variation of group activities builds bonds among the students and mentors.
  • Food – Fun, healthy food enables high energy levels and the ability to focus.

Working with qualified teachers, mentors work with small groups of students for anything from 3 to 25 sessions per year. Our 25 annual sessions include 10 sessions over Autumn (Sep, Oct, Nov) and 15 sessions over Winter/Spring (Feb, Mar, Apr, May). These sessions are on Saturdays and Sundays.

Why Crowdfunder?

We want more people to know about One Degree and by spreading the word we aim to get more people involved either as mentors or sponsors. 

The One Degree journey is only possible through dedicated mentors, teachers, donors and funders that, like us, see education intervention as one of the most valuable life-changers a child can receive.

However, our impact is only as big as our funding

Please donate via our Crowdfunding campaign so that we can add 4 more students onto our 2015/2016 programme and change their life direction.