Back in the office and part of the team: reflections from a former Franklin Scholar

Radvile Barbarskaite - a 2013/14 Franklin Scholar from Langdon Academy and current student at King’s College London - reflects on her time as a Summer Programme Intern with Franklin Scholars. Radvile has been part of the team for a three-week period, helping us with programme outreach, inputting on our scale strategy, and participating in our facilitator training day!

Six years on from my time as a mentor on the Franklin Scholars programme, I have found myself working as a volunteer for a short internship in the office of this exciting enterprise. This opportunity has made me reminisce about my experience and what I learned during the course of the programme that I still implement in my life today.

There was something very special about being part of a group of young people that were entrusted with the social and academic development of their younger peers.

Being part of the cohort that Franklin Scholars piloted with, meant that a lot of things were different during my time. Looking at how far the organisation has developed, and the resources that they have created means that I did not reap the full benefits of what is available to students now. Still, there was something very special about being part of a group of young people that were entrusted with the social and academic development of their younger peers. The secondary school I attended was extremely big and it was not very often that you would interact with different year groups or even see them around the school grounds. What the programme did, was bridge this gap and help create close bonds which would go on to be extremely helpful to the mentees and their navigation of the school that we, as mentors, had come to be comfortable with. It was obvious from the beginning that this provided comfort to the younger students, as they were able to ask us questions without feeling ridiculed for it. In turn, this created a sense of responsibility in the older students and it was a special feeling knowing that you had contributed to making their first year at secondary school just that bit more pleasant.

Since my time at Franklin Scholars I have learnt to be even more compassionate and understanding, and I developed the skills to be able to communicate with people of different age groups in the correct manner. These are skills that will always be necessary no matter what the next stage in life is for me. Further on from this, I hope to gain even more skills from working in the voluntary position at the Franklin Scholars office and develop the transferable skills that will be beneficial when thinking of opportunities after university.

It is a great feeling to be back at a company that I had much respect for. I love everything that Franklin Scholars stands for and this is coming from a former Franklin Scholar who did not have even half of the resources the programme has now. That in itself describes the amazing impact that the experience has had!

Having had the opportunity to understand more about the programme, I’ve understood that Franklin Scholars continues to be run by a dedicated team who are passionate about the development of young people and this translates into the experiences and resources that have been developed to aid this. Even though my time here is short, I am excited for the future of this company and hope to see more young people benefit in the same way that I did.