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"Through academic mentoring, I've had the opportunity to watch students flourish, to encourage, to parent, to have more than a few laughs, to share experiences about growing up and achieving at school," says Liza deCarvalho, who teaches English at Bow school. "Now I'm able to sit back with pride as they prepare for their exams, knowing that I've contributed to the success they are on the brink of experiencing.

"The weekly sessions revolved around developing time and organisational skills. On the academic side, students and mentors monitored student progress weekly through effort marks and grades provided by subject tutors. All this amid casual chats about films, weekends and munching snacks. Mentoring is not only an opportunity to discuss academic life, but to develop personal relationships with students, establishing an open, caring and comfortable atmosphere in which to discuss their concerns about school life."

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