Social mentoring is one of the most effective tools so that youth under and out of guardianship, who have suffered a break in their educational and life path, can recover their post-mandatory studies. This is the main conclusion of the study “Benefits of educational accompaniment for youth under and out of guardianship”, which Punt de Referència has carried out with the collaboration of DEP Institute.
The joint work of volunteers, young people, and the professionals of the Atenea project adds up, and as a result 85% of young people under and out guardianship who participate in it and receive help from a volunteer in their studies, consider continuing studying. Or that 95% declare that this 1to1 support has motivated them in their studies, in addition to learning to obtain better results.
Accompanying in learning, listening, and empathizing emotionally with young people are the objectives to achieve results. One of the youngsters who attends Atenea project explains it very well: “My social part with people has improved. I learn to speak. I do it with them (mentors). Also, to be trustworthy. I lacked all that before entering Atenea; I had a hard time trusting people. I closed into myself but didn’t say it. I didn’t trust anyone. Now, yes, I am more open. More open to meet people or to explain myself, to learn, more open to everything. I have also learned to respect and deal with people”.
Another participant of Atenea values it this way: “Yes, I have improved a lot. If I don’t come to Punt de Referència I won’t get an 8. I do my homework and practice; I get good grades and that makes me happy. No telling, no copying, no cheating… just me at the table, with my pen and getting out everything I have in my head. I have obtained good grades”.
In a context in which school failure is considered a major problem, especially in Catalonia and Spain (where the rates are above the European and OECD countries averages), accompaniment is one of the keys to promote educational success among youth from families with low resources. The urgency of addressing the issue globally as a society becomes even more evident for youth in care and out of care, since statistics indicate that dropout rates are three times higher than in the non-care population. Educational success is very important because the social opportunities of people, particularly of youth, increasingly depend on their qualifications, their human capital, and their ability to obtain and interpret information, as well as to acquire and use knowledge.