Mentoring programme for teens celebrates a 15-year history

At the graduation service for the ORT JUMP mentoring programme, former mentees returned to give back


Mentees celebrate a successful end to their programme at a graduation service in Camdem

When Georgia Shaw was 17, she remembers being “frustrated, and uncertain”. She wasn’t sure what career path would be right for her, and she was looking for “an impartial third party” and “a judgement free zone”.

Luckily, Georgia found the ORT JUMP Mentoring Programme. Established in 2009, and currently running across 12 secondary schools, the ORT Programme mentors hundreds of Year 12 students just like Georgia, in industries ranging from law, finance and medicine, to the civil service, TV production, and cyber security.

This year, Georgia came back to work as a mentor and spoke at the graduation ceremony held yesterday in Camden, which also celebrated 15 years of the programme. “I have found it so rewarding seeing my mentee blossom through sessions, and it was a pleasure to be able to provide an enriching work experience for her too,” she said. “It is a dually beneficial programme – you learn as much from your mentee as they learn from you”.

When ORT’s mentoring programme began in 2009, just 30 mentor/mentee partnerships were arranged, at JFS and Hasmonean schools.

Over the last 15 years, ORT has branched out to seven  schools – King David inn Manchester, Yavneh, Immanuel, JCoSS, and Hasmonean Boys and Girls, as well as JFS.

The programme has also been expanded to five non-Jewish schools in London.

Last night, over 400 Year 12 mentees, mentors, parents and teachers attended the ceremony for this year’s cohort.

Guests included Gabriella Jessup, who like Georgia, also decided to return to to the programme as a mentor. “Being an ORT JUMP mentee was my introduction to the corporate world,” said Gabriella. “Now I’m a mentor, and I’ve been able to be that person for my mentee, who I’ve seen gain clarity on what matters to her, to set direction for her career with newfound confidence”.

One mentee, Eytan Freeman from Yavneh College, said he couldn’t recommend the programme enough. An aspiring lawyer, he said: “The whole experience has made me realise that a career in law is definitely within reach. Without my mentor’s assistance, law would still be an industry I was too scared to dive into.”

Attendees heard from Clive Gringras, head of technology, media and telecoms at the international law firm, CMS UK.

Speaking on the future of AI in the workplace, he assured students that if they showed “emotional intelligence” in a world of artificial intelligence, they would be able to succeed in the field of their choice.

During the mentoring programme, students were asked to submit a creative piece about their experience of being mentored.

Prizes for the projects went to Eytan Freeman from Yavneh, Z’ev Waldman from Hasmonean boys, Eleanor Bitton from JCoSS and Isabelle Winslow from Copthall School.

Anna Black, ORT JUMP programme co-manager, said after the graduation ceremony: “It was an absolute joy…to hear of so many positive, meaningful experiences. Our mentees are completing the programme full of knowledge, confidence and excitement for their future career journeys.

"We’re already recruiting mentors for next year when we plan to expand into more schools, making an even greater impact through mentoring.”

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