More than 100 north-east residents have signed up to become mentors to help support schoolchildren.
Published in The Evening Express
The scheme is run by charity MCR Pathways, and helps young people fulfil their potential.
The charity hopes to be able to reach 250 pupils at schools including St Machar, Banff, Inverurie, Fraserburgh and Peterhead Academies, as well as The Gordon Schools in Huntly.
As part of this, it is hoped more mentors will sign up to take part in the project to maximise the number reached.
Called the Young Scottish Talent Initiative, it was launched last year to support disadvantaged and care-experienced pupils.
Once a week, the young person meets with their mentor for an hour-long session, where they listen and encourage the pupil in a bid to boost their confidence and self-belief.
Jack Cobban, 16, who attends Inverurie Academy, is receiving mentorship. He said:
“I have become better in school and I have got more motivation. I try a lot harder than I used to. It’s not really like having a teacher or a mentor. It’s more like having a friend you can chat to about life.
I wasn’t keen on school before and I especially wasn’t keen on English. I needed to pass my Nat 4 but I wasn’t doing that. My mentor helped me pass it. He’s helped me look at a lot of different options for the future.
Before, I was just wanting to leave school and get a job, but he showed me lots of potential other options like going to uni.”
Anne Heinrich, who mentors at Banff Academy, said: “I’ve signed up to be a mentor as I’m keen to invest my time in something so worthwhile.
“Building a new relationship enables a young person to believe and connect with their own design, passion and talents to find their unique place and contribution in life. That’s something truly rewarding for both of us.”
Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways, said: “We are delighted that over 100 mentors have signed up in the north-east – it is a fantastic milestone.
“The programme is making a huge difference to so many young people. Our team are working hard and are very committed to helping every young person on the programme to be determined by their talent and never their circumstances.”
For more information, or to sign up to become a mentor, visit