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New Beginnings: 2021’s Basic Training Academy & Red Jacket Ceremony

Last month, our brand new Volunteer Mentors took the first steps of their amazing City Year journey, during the Basic Training Academy!

Before you make a change, you need to know how to. Every year, BTA is what our Volunteer Mentors take part in before they make their way into schools and start being the great mentors and positive influences that the students need.

This year’s Basic Training Academy started with some fun group activities, with the new team of Volunteer Mentors getting to know each other. The team also spoke on some powerful topics, such as what “values” are and how the state of education at the moment in the United Kingdom may have flaws that negatively impact the average student’s learning experience.

From there on out, our Volunteer Mentors got into the specifics, learning things such as how to properly execute giving a student In-class support, how to monitor and manage a student’s behaviour, safeguarding techniques, professionalism and much more. Plus, they found out which teams they would be in! It was wonderful to see them all gelling together so well, as they took in a lot of information and started to make plans for their year ahead.

And after three weeks of intensive-but-exhilarating training was the Red Jacket Ceremony; a beautiful ceremony where our Volunteer Mentors dedicated their year of service to something close to their hearts. Along with the dedications, we saw team chants (which the teams had been working hard on!) to kick off their time together, heard touching stories of what the red jackets meant to them, and in London, listened to an inspirational keynote speech from our CEO, Kevin Munday. It was an emotional event and it definitely made the bonds stronger between the team, as well as gave them something to motivate them throughout their journey. Our teams of Volunteer Mentors all across the UK zipped up their jackets with dedication and pride, and now it looks like all of our Volunteer Mentors are definitely fired up going into their journey ahead with City Year!

As we’ve heard from previous City Year Alumni, this is where “the fun really begins”. Basic Training Academy and the Red Jacket Ceremony both mark the start of something great. Our Volunteer Mentors do a monumental job of making sure their students are reaching their full potential in every way. We’ve seen it happen before, and we’re sure that what lies ahead this year will be nothing short of magic.

We have an amazing group of Volunteer Mentors with us this year on all sites, who are really enthusiastic to get involved in their roles and help out in their communities, ready to face the challenge head-on. Here’s what they had to say about some of their goals and expectations going into the new school year…

Mohima Zabid, one of our Manchester-based volunteers said, “I want to be able to adapt to any challenges, and I want to know that I’ve improved my student’s abilities to face their own challenges as well.”

Nathaniel Walker, one of our VMs based in London said, “I want to help the children out and make sure all of them are able to reach their maximum potential.”

It looks like all of our Volunteer Mentors are definitely fired up going into their journey ahead with City Year, and we’re so excited for them. Keep up with all their adventures here on the blog, and over on our social media channels – they’ll be back soon with more to share!

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