Pictured (left to right) at the awards are Jo DeLuca, Ann McKerracher, Jen Mackenzie and Claire Ritchie

Borders College staff were proud to receive the ‘Highly Commended Project 2018’ award at the Scottish Mentoring Network Recognition Awards for the success of the Borders Young Talent (BYT) Project.

Jen Mackenzie, Student Services Team Leader and BYT Coordinator, was accompanied by BYT Mentors Jo DeLuca, Ann McKerracher and Claire Ritchie at the awards which were held at St Pauls and St George’s Church, Edinburgh. Attendees from other mentoring projects from across Scotland were also present, including other colleges as well as universities, community groups and employers.

Jen explained that the team were required to submit an application form which detailed the project’s interesting features as well as its successes or achievements over the preceding year.

The BYT Project (supported by the Robertson Trust) helps young people who, through various personal circumstances, face barriers and challenges that prevent them from making the most of their talents and for whom successful transition from school to college and beyond could prove difficult.

Focusing on young people who are care experienced, young carers, at risk of disengagement from education, and for whom rural/social deprivation impacts significantly on their ability to engage in education, BYT augments the College’s Schools Academy programme and provides senior phase pupils with a mentor who becomes their friend, advocate and advisor providing one-to-one support with the aim of ensuring a successful transition through their Schools Academy course and on to a positive outcome.

Speaking of what the award means to her team, Jen said:

“We were delighted to receive this award which recognises how important the BYT Project is to the young people that we mentor. The team are highly motivated and totally dedicated to the young people they support, allowing them to realise their potential and make the most of their talents and opportunities.”

BYT Mentor Claire Ritchie was also commended at the awards for her own work towards the project.

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