Family & Education

Yavneh student takes top prize in Ort UK mentoring scheme

The Ort Jump scheme attracted its largest participation this year


Gabriella Ziff from Yavneh College has been named Student of the Year for the Jump mentoring scheme run by Ort UK.

She was one of nearly 250 year-12 participants from 11 schools who took part in the scheme this year, receiving guidance in regular meetings over the year with a professional expert in their chosen field.

As well as five Jewish schools, six general schools in London participated, enabling children from other faiths to benefit from the programme which was celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

It has grown significantly since the initial cohort of 30 students in 2009.

As well as traditionally popular areas such as law, medicine and finance, engineering and psychology have shown increased interest, while green energy and international development were among other choices this year.

Gabriella received her award at a graduation ceremony at London’s JW3 on Tuesday for an essay on what she had learned from the experience.

Her mentor, Casey Martell, senior major gift manager at the Royal Academy of Art, called her “highly perceptive, incredibly articulate” and “mature beyond her years”.

Runners-up prizes went to Elisabeth Sutton, from La Sainte Union school; Jay Rosenthal, JFS; Dov Solomon, Hasmonean Boys; and Alyssa Jacobs, JCoSS.

Mentors came from a wide variety of organisations ranging from Facebook to the Sun newspaper. 

Avi Miller, head boy of Immanuel College, recalled he had set his heart on medicine “ever since I watched my first episode of Grey’s Anatomy”.

Monthly meetings with his mentor, consultant neo-natal and paediatric surgeon Nic Alexander, had “certainly cemented my decision to study medicine”, he said.  Not only had he received advice on becoming a doctor but also help with his university application and reading recommendations.

The scheme was a “fantastic opportunity” for school students, he said.

As well as match-making pupils with mentors, Jump also helps schools with work experience for BTec.

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