2020 saw the official launch of the Mentorship Programme with inaugural mentees, Nampet Sae-Heng and Tobias Zijlstra. Now, in the new year, Tutors International mentees set their goals for 2021, providing insight into the COVID-generation’s resilience and optimism.
The Mentorship Programme
OXFORD, UK: In June 2020, Tutors International officially launched its Mentorship Programme. It sponsors gifted students from around the globe and provides them with exceptional educational opportunities. The inaugural mentees are Tobias Zijlstra (17) from the Netherlands and Nampet Sae-Heng (11) from England.
Tutors International sponsored Tobias to take part in the School at Sea programme. He attended school on a tall ship whilst sailing around the world. Nampet has been sponsored to continue her ballet and gymnastics training, to which she has been unwaveringly committed. She was also mentored to help her get into Norwich High School for Girls.
Reflecting on 2020
2020 brought changes and disruptions for everyone. For Tobias, it meant not being able to attend his School at Sea reunion and returning to find online classes. For Nampet, it meant starting a new school with strict COVID measures, and extra-curricular activities being taught remotely. As both students reflect on a difficult year, they are motivated to look to the future. Tobias and Nampet each outlined their goals for 2021, and indicated the events and milestones that they are looking forward to.
Looking to 2021
Each of them summarised their goals and upcoming events in their Tutors International Mentorship blogs.
Tobias is aiming to get his driving licence, pass his exams with good grades, and perform well in his latest science project about electromagnetic pulses.
He is looking forward to his eighteenth birthday and training for the air force. He is also hoping for some return to normality so that he can return to socialising with friends, like any 17-year-old ordinarily would.
Nampet wants to write a book, continue to excel academically and in her after-school activities, and complete her dance competition. She wants to help out in her community more, be more independent, and "overall be a better person and try and make an impact in the world".
She is also looking forward to her birthday and school returning to some semblance of normality.
Seeing the students' hopes and goals provides insight into the COVID-generation's mindset and indicates commonality across the ages. Both appear resilient, optimistic, and committed to making personal positive change, despite adversity out of their control. They also both find milestones to look forward to, in a future of uncertainty.
Tutors International seeks out these kinds of qualities when electing their mentees, and uses its educational expertise to nurture and enhance them. Founder and CEO of Tutors International, Adam Caller, elaborates on this:
“It’s encouraging to see the future generation continue to adapt, respond, and prevail. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2021 holds for our mentees.
“Our inaugural students on the Mentorship Programme have each responded and developed differently in the first year of the programme. In my experience, one year is not long enough to effectively measure change. Meaningful change tends to happen exponentially and over time. Additionally, people develop and approach opportunities in different ways, and this diversity of character is what makes up the world. Either students start with vim and enthusiasm from the off, or start more slowly and then progress exponentially after some time of reflection. I think I see a case study of each in Nampet and Tobias respectively.
Nampet and Tobias
Adam Caller observes how each mentee has approached the programme:
“I’m struck by the positivity and ambition of Nampet. She has whole-heartedly taken every opportunity with both hands. I’m reminded of Rudyard Kipling’s lines from ‘If’: "If you can fill the unforgiving minute, With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it". Nampet embodies this sentiment. She hasn't let COVID hold her back. Her goals for 2021 – writing a book and self-improvement – are a testament to her intelligence and drive.
“Tobias, as a 17-year-old, is obviously missing out on the social side of being his age, which is understandably difficult. I’d hoped that the School at Sea programme would give him an unrivalled sense of perspective and worldliness, which perhaps we're yet to see come to fruition in full. That said, often these experiences provide clarity after some time of reflection. I know COVID restrictions have been tough for everyone, but as his time at sea should have taught him, the wind may blow in one direction, out of your control, but with skill and knowledge, you can sail in whatever direction you choose.
Opportunities Are What You Make of Them
Mr. Caller continues:
“Ultimately, we’re yet to see the full effect of the programme on these students, but it’s given me a good indication of how different individuals respond to the opportunities presented to them. Any parents or guardians interested in enquiring about the programme should consider what kind of student their child is, and what they want them to be. Opportunities are always what you make of them.
“I'm excited to see how the programme expands and develops. The initiative aims to build on the students' pre-existing attitudes, values, and talents, and provide them with educational experiences and support that will help them reach their full potential.”