Be the Change Educational Course at Brighton


Today’s the launch of the official Be The Change Brighton programme down here in Brighton Hive. So now we have a set of 5 days of different interactions between employers and schools, that typically lasts between 3 or 4 months – where we’re going to change the lives of hundreds of year 9 students locally.

What do you think about the Be The Change Brighton programme?

Bud Johnston – Business Mentor, Rivervale Leasing

It’s an eye opener. A lot of the issues that the young people are expressing today are things that I can really relate to.

Ruth Quill – School Leader, Varndean School

Just to stand up in front of a group I think is a massive challenge for anyone. So for a teenager to stand up, age 14 – and say things that are really close to the heart, it’s an astonishing feat really.

Mark Monahan – Assistant Principal, Sir Robert Woodard Academy

Students I think were quite kind of apprehensive and unsure of what was going to happen. And it was really obvious that it had a big emotional impact. For me as a school leader, year 9 can be a bit of a kind of lost group. So seeing today, I think’s really started to give them a bit of a focus.

Student opinions

Learnt about self-belief and confidence in yourself. Got quite emotional at one of them, ’cause I’ve actually started to realise who’s actually a good influence on my life.

Today it’s just made me realise that I shouldn’t change who I am. I should just be me, and just concentrate and I’ll go really far in life.

We have mainly been learning about self-confidence, and what we want to do in our future. When I told my story in front of the crowd, lots of people came up to me after saying, “I hope you’re okay.” And, “Your story really touched me.”

We can give them all these academic qualifications, but linking them up in small groups with business people, I think’s going to be amazing. Because there’ll be someone to talk to them about – well this is what we look for.

I’ve been working with business leaders. They’ve been helpful because they’ve just been complimenting me, and making me feel good about myself.

They’ve just been really nice to me and helped me realise that I’m perfect the way I am, and I shouldn’t change anything.


What are your main learning points from the Be The Change Brighton workshop?

Johnston – Business Mentor, Rivervale Leasing

You don’t realise how quick the future will come around, after being misguided into careers or areas that are not necessarily your passion – is sometimes a mistake. Today, giving young people the opportunity to have a think, and try to open up themselves and work out what it is they want to do and what makes them happy – is powerful.

Ruth Quill – School Leader, Varndean School

It’s been really interesting to see the children grow. What’s been really important is how they’ve been spoken to, in a way that they have been able to understand.

Paul Rogers – Commercial & Partnerships Manager, BHAFC

It’s a great programme, and coming to the stadium, obviously it’s a – it’s a bit of a treat for them as well, and they’ve responded really well.

Annette Sheirdan – Business Mentor, Palmer and Harvey

Quite early on in the day, I realised that this was a fantastic opportunity for youngsters. To have some time to reflect on what their future might look like. They’ve come from different backgrounds and different schools. And they’ve all got very different opinions about what their future is like. But quite importantly, they’ve all got very good memories about what their past has been like. Seeing them throughout the day, sort of progress and open up and gain confidence – has been just astonishing.

Student opinions

I’ve gained a lot more self-confidence, and I feel a little bit happier about myself.

It actually made me believe in myself a lot more, and that I don’t need to impress people.

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