Students from Sheffield and Rotherham formed the 315 recipients of advice and direction from 60 mentors, who were all University of Sheffield students this year.
The mentors work in dedicated teams to offer advice on higher education, on making informed GCSE subject choices with the future in mind, and developing key skills such as presenting, revision and research techniques.
The project aims to help pupils develop transferable skills and build up confidence in their own academic abilities.
Regular one-to-one sessions take place each year over six months from December to May. Next year the scheme is set to expand to 15 schools and 400 students in school years nine to 11, with 80 mentors taking part.
This year’s participants got together to celebrate their involvement recently, at a final celebration event held in The University’s Octagon Centre.
Schools that have participated in the scheme so far include; Ecclesfield School, Parkwood Academy, Tupton School, Saint Pius X Catholic School, Thomas Rotherham College, King Edwards VII School, Westfield School, Sheffield Park Academy, Longley Park Sixth Form College, Aston Academy, Fir Vale School, and Firth Park Academy.
The mentoring programme has been running for the past five years and includes North Derbyshire within its reach.
Students at the university apply to become mentors then, once accepted, they undergo specialised training. They must display a keen interest in working with young people and supporting the local community, coupled with an understanding of the widening access to higher education agenda.