After Beth graduates this summer she will train as a primary school teacher and hopes to stay in her home town.

Beth wins Student Mentor of the Year

Bethany Partridge, a Senior Student Ambassador for the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, has won the Student Mentor of the Year Award given by Brightside, a charity that helps young people access career and education opportunities.

Beth, 20, studying BA History, was recognised for her work with the Realising Opportunities programme, a unique collaboration of 15 leading research-intensive universities to promote fair access to university.  She has worked for over a year with two cohorts of students, advising them on revision techniques, UCAS applications, student life, finance and more.

One mentee who Bethany worked with said “I’ve been going through tough things and I have never told anyone in my college about my situations as I feel though I’ll be judged. But Beth has never judged me and has taught me how to deal with problems when they arise.”

Speaking after her win, Bethany commented: “It feels amazing to have won. I’m really happy and very grateful. I first got involved to help young people from non-traditional backgrounds access university and realise their potential. I’m the first person from my family to go to university so I can understand. The best thing is seeing my mentees’ progress.”

Beth is from Falmouth and is a former pupil of Falmouth Community School.  After she graduates this summer she will train as a primary school teacher and hopes to stay in her home town. 

Emma Stephenson, Head of Widening Participation and UK Student Recruitment, added her congratulations saying: “We are delighted that Beth has won this award. It is a testament to the fantastic work she has done through Realising Opportunities and reflects the dedication of Exeter’s Student Ambassadors and the work they do with schools and colleges across the region and beyond. We are thrilled that the impact of Beth’s work as a role model has been recognised in this way.”

Dr Tessa Stone, Chief Executive of Brightside, adds: “The Mentoring Awards are a wonderful reminder of the transformative power of mentoring. Brightside believes that it should be talent and not background that determines a young person’s future, and the mentors we work with are essential to helping young people realise their full potential. Our mentors volunteer their time to help students from a range of backgrounds find out more about careers and courses that interest them and give their mentees advice and support to develop the skills they need to pursue these goals. It is very important for us to be able to recognise people like Bethany who have gone above and beyond in their schemes and made a real difference to the lives and life chances of their mentees.”

Winners were announced at a glittering ceremony in London hosted by TV presenter and physicist Dr Helen Czerski.  Brightside is a charity that helps young people access the education and career pathways they might not have believed were available to them.

Date: 11 March 2014

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