Transitions are a challenge, but they are also an absolutely brilliant opportunity. More than 400 YST young people from across Scotland have just made one of the biggest transitions of their lives – the step from high school and childhood to their first pathway and adulthood. We are so proud of each and every one of them, and so honoured to have had the opportunity to work with them.
Thank you to our mentors, for helping our young people build the commitment, motivation, and resilience they need to make this jump a positive one. The time you put in each week – to listen, to care, to joke – that’s made a bigger difference than you could ever imagine.
All young people have talent, but they often need the support of a caring adult to realise it. Young people who are supported go on to spread that positivity, transforming our communities, workplaces and country. This is #TheRippleEffect and we truly believe that our mentors are changing Scotland for generations. Please read on to hear about just a few of the hundreds of positive stories from our new leavers.
Cameron’s Apprenticeship to success
Cameron* was first approached to join the YST programme because her school was concerned about her lack of motivation. She didn’t have a lot of encouragement at home and her Coordinator felt that, deep down, Cameron didn’t feel like she could achieve much. She was matched with Tricia, who let Cameron develop the relationship at her own pace. Cameron lacked confidence and self belief, but Tricia helped her take down her barriers. Gradually, they began talking more about the future and career paths, debating colleges and apprenticeships. Cameron expressed an interest in Childcare and, for the first time, she started to feel really excited about her future.
Over the two years they met, Cameron went from a shy girl who couldn’t make eye contact and who had no idea what to do after school to actively applying for college and apprenticeships. She left school in 2019, taking up a work placement which ultimately lead to her gaining an apprenticeship with Glasgow City Council.
Jenna Dreams & Achieves of University
Bright, lovely and ambitious, Jenna* dreamed of becoming a nurse but was struggling to cope with the death of her mother. She was invited to join the YST programme to have someone to talk to. She was matched with Stacey, a deeply caring women who gave Jenna a judgement free space to talk about her challenges. Stacey helped her find a balance, supporting her grieving while also encouraging her to focus on her studies. Jenna knew she had to work hard in her classes to achieve the grades she needed to gain a university place.
Over the two years they met, Stacey continued to support, listen to and cheer for Jenna at every step of her journey. Stacey went above and beyond, even helping Jenna with a housing issue. Over the sessions, Jenna become more and more confident in her own ability. From withdrawn to deeply involved in her school community, she was even appointed Head Girl in S6. Jenna is looking forward to her future and is waiting on final exam results to see if she got into university.
Mo’s Moving on to College
Mo* is a ESOL pupil who lives with his mum and older brother, the latter who acts as his primary carer. He showed great potential, however the school was concerned about his patchy attendance. Donna, the school’s Pathways Coordinator, felt that a mentor could really help him focus. Mo was keen to get involved. He was matched with Ross, who worked as an Assistant Manager at a Sports Centre . Soon after meeting it was obvious that this was a perfect match! They bonded over their love of sports and would spend their meetings chatting away.
Over their meetings, Mo’s attendance improved significantly and he began to take part in different extracurricular and volunteer activities. In his last year of school, Mo applied for an HND Coaching & Developing Sport at City of Glasgow, Glasgow Clyde and Glasgow Kelvin and received a conditional offer for City of Glasgow! Always kind and mature, Mo has become more engaged in his community and the school thanks to the help of his mentor.