Solomon’s story | Deloitte UK has been saved
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In 2016, we set out to make an impact that matters to one million people. We’ve worked alongside charity, school and social enterprise partners, supporting access to education and employment opportunities. Today, we've reached this milestone. That’s one million people getting to where they want to be. One million futures made brighter. And one million stories to be told. Here’s Solomon’s story.
An unclear future
As a kid, Solomon didn’t care much for school. Like many teens, he’d rather be on the football pitch working toward his dream of playing for Arsenal than stuck in the classroom. Unable to focus in school, he often found himself thinking: ‘Why am I here?’. This disinterest reflected in his behaviour as Solomon found himself often at odds with teachers. Backchat and arguments would have him booted from classroom and land him in frequent detentions.
He recalls dreading when his mother would ask how school went each day, knowing she would be disappointed with his unenthusiastic answer or an admission that he’d been sent out of class. His mother knew he could do better, if only he would apply himself with the same determination and focus he demonstrated on the football pitch – potential that earned him captaincy three years in a row.
Solomon’s behaviour in the classroom was in stark contrast to the qualities he frequently demonstrated in sport: leadership, effective communication, self-discipline and concentration to name a few. What was missing was the motivation to harness and apply this potential to his studies.
On the football pitch, he dreamed of becoming a football star while in the classroom, Solomon lacked a goal to which he could aspire. He had no clear idea of what his studies could lead to, or what future doors could be opened. That was until a meaningful mentorship with Deloitte.
A game-changing mentorship
Solomon was introduced to Deloitte through a school mentorship programme. He was matched with a Deloitte volunteer with whom he could discuss his future. Where did he see himself going after his school years? What career paths had he considered? Who did he want to become?
Beyond one-on-one conversations that added colour to his future career options, Solomon took concrete steps to sharpen his skillset with the programme. With the encouragement of his mentor, he participated in leadership skills lessons, CV workshops, and current affairs analyses. He said that through this relationship with Deloitte, he began to realise his own ambitions and was challenged to refine his existing qualities and skills.
Solomon began to apply the same focus and determination he exercised on the football pitch to his studies. In fact, he credits his mentor with helping him see that many of the skills that made him a valuable football captain could translate to the classroom. His grades steadily increased. Solomon became confident in class. He was even a contender for Head Boy in his final year. The cherry on top? Solomon landed a place in university – his first choice. He is now studying at Liverpool University with ambitions to become a lawyer in the future.
Deloitte schools programme
The Deloitte schools programme works to address educational disadvantage across the UK. Alongside our national education partner, Teach First, One Million Futures believes that where a child is from should not determine the quality of their education nor their future opportunities. With over 20 school partners across the country, the programme offers a variety of activities to support students in overcoming barriers to education and employment and realise their potential.
From mentorships such as Solomon’s, to speaker sessions and ongoing workshops that build skills and broaden the aspirations of students, the programme supports brighter futures in a variety of ways.
If you haven’t already, be sure to hear from a few other individuals that have a brighter future today thanks to the One Million Futures programme.
Deanna is part of the Responsible Business team, progressing the firm’s societal impact through work with charity, school and social enterprise partners across the UK. Deanna helps drive communications and marketing initiatives, building the profile of the firm’s flagship programme, One Million Futures, both internally and externally.