Nearly 200 Bexhill students took part in the launch of a business initiative aiming to give the students a chance to reflect on their behaviour and its effects.
Bexhill High Academy year-nine pupils participated in the Be the Change introduction at Azur St Leonards on Tuesday (November 25).
The scheme is delivered by Bexhill-based Hastings Direct in partnership with LoveLocalJobs.com and Humanutopia.
The organisers encouraged them to speak out about bullies and there was a powerful reaction as students even admitted to calling people names.
“There’s been a few tears, a few shocks and a few surprises and its not just the kids who have stood up but those who have listened and its changed things for them as well,” the academy’s head of pastoral care Trudy Hillman said.
“The programme gets them to start thinking about the impact of their own actions and where it leads to in the future and today is just the start of the programme.
“It’s been a really great start and it’s where it goes next that’s important.”
Bringing their own experience to the day by providing support and offering personal anecdotes to the students, 30 business volunteers from Hastings Direct began their journey as Be The Change mentors.
Over the coming months, the business volunteers will meet with the students to continue developing life skills to take into the working world.
Hastings Direct’s HR director Amanda Menahem said: “The Be The Change launch event was incredible.
“I was humbled to see so many teenagers come out of their comfort zones, find their voice and start to understand that they have choices and are masters of their future.
“Overcoming emotional and behavioural barriers to effectiveness allows teenagers to truly unlock their potential.”
Speaking directly to the students throughout the launch day, Humanutopia co-founder Graham Moore said it was an absolutely awesome experience.
“Their engagement in the programme produced immediate results in students’ confidence and self-awareness,” he said.
“They are a credit to their school and community.
“It was a pleasure to also work with the business volunteers from Hastings Direct who further enriched the experience of the students with their commitment and professionalism.”
Chief executive of LoveLocalJobs.com Gary Peters said there was not one student who wasn’t engaged, contemplating their future and seriously considering that they can make positive changes to be successful and happy in life.
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