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Aaron Grant-Booker, City Year London, 2014-15

Volunteer mentor in uniform

Coming from Tottenham, I understand how important it is to have positive role models growing up. By volunteering in a primary school, I believe that, with my peers, we’re showing young kids that there are people that care about them and want them to do well. We support kids who sometimes come from difficult backgrounds. They may not be in a position where they are always put first and by us doing what we do, we are showing them that they do matter and they are a priority.

Before I started my year, I spoke so much about making a difference, but it is only once you get started that you realise just what making a difference really means. Making a difference could be something as small as helping a child get better at getting to school, or something as big as helping them achieve the grades they never thought they would.

At the primary school in Southwark where I served, a fellow volunteer and I decided to take our hobbies of poetry and rap and inspire a group of children to get into creative writing. We wanted to give them confidence and let them prove to themselves what they can achieve with dedication and hard work. Those kids performed in front of 300 people at a City Year UK gala dinner. It was fantastic to see how far they had come and to have made it happen.

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