Taking the fear out of further education – students mentoring students

Fear of the unknown is common to most of us. For students thinking of heading to university, this is a pretty big unknown, and one that comes with lots of questions.

A group of Queensland students recently had their questions about university answered, in a special event organised by Beacon Foundation and Origin Energy. University students doing summer internships at Origin took on the role of mentor and were connected to 50 Year 10 to 12 students from Mabel Park State High School, St James College and Springwood State High School.  They led a Q & A session about life at university – in which any question was a good question.

Smaller group workshops were then held to talk about things like goal setting, overcoming failure and networking. This last one was put into practice during a lunch break!

The day finished with some hands on work. It showed students ways in which a university education could lead to providing practical solutions to some of the world’s problems. These revolved around solar power, water quality and healthcare.

After the activity:

  • 72% of students reported feeling more motivated, and
  • 70% said they saw more options for their career

There was more positive feedback, including this from a student:

Today I learnt a lot more about the experiences of going to university and how to prepare myself for this, and I feel that the idea of going to university is a bit less daunting and I’m very excited …

Another took away this message:

Always try had to reach your goals and always believe in yourself. There are always good pathways for everyone.

One of their teachers believed the day was:

A wonderful experience to broaden the minds of our students. Very positive and valuable.

At Beacon Foundation we believe that every young person has the right to a job, financial opportunity and a sense of personal success. We’re excited that one student’s take away message from this day was, “I can pick my own future.”