– by Lemuel, Year 9, St Mark’s Academy
At the very moment I walked through the doors of our very first training session, I could already feel a sense of excitement and connection with a teacher whom I never actually called a teacher, instead, I’ve simply known her as a friend. (Because she didn’t like us when we call her with Ms. Instead, she wanted us to call her simply with just her name) and her name is Jess, the most down-to-earth person I’ve ever known.
Before the training session, I felt so nervous as usual – as most of my friends can relate to, I’m the kind of person who just sits down in a classroom, with my mouth shut; someone who wouldn’t let anyone distract him. I’m that kind of guy!
But everything changed when the Franklin Scholars initiative suddenly walked into my life – my school life. Our training session with the Franklin Scholars team made me realise that I’ve been living under a rock all these years; they made me feel right at home and that I could talk to them by allowing myself to be vulnerable.
Then the actual peer mentoring began, and I couldn’t be more privileged to share this experience with a special Year 7 called Leonardo. He’s a very likeable boy who has become more confident over time. I call him Leo, to make things a lot simpler! He became an inspiration to me because he showed me that you don’t need to be nervous at anything, you just need to have fun, learn and be yourself.
Two amazing role models walked into my life and showed everything that I lacked all these years and I’m eternally grateful.
During my time as a Franklin Scholar, there have been some ups and downs along the way and the way all my fellow Franklin Scholars dealt with it was incredible. Jess and Leo were always there to keep things positive for everyone, and not letting anyone give up at any point. Everyone played their part.
Because of Franklin Scholars, I’ve finally found the two things I’ve been missing: confidence and determination. Because of Franklin Scholars, I’ve become a better person. Because of Franklin Scholars, I’ve finally found a reason to keep on going and to never give up no matter what the situation is.
My ultimate goal: I want to inspire people. I want them to look at me in the eye and say ‘because of you, I didn’t give up’.