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Article based upon webinar delivered in September 2023.

Authored by Atiya Sheikh and Joy Maitland (Business Psychologists and Directors at Inemmo)

Resilience, often defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, is a quality inherent in us all. However, the extent to which we can harness this power is shaped by a complex interplay of genetics, personal history, environmental factors, and the situations we find ourselves in. Recent research has emphasised the pivotal role of personal connections in building resilience, highlighting that our intimate relationships serve as the bedrock upon which our ability to overcome challenges rests.

In the face of daunting societal challenges, young individuals, particularly those from marginalised backgrounds, often grapple with formidable barriers that threaten their educational and career prospects. The promise of meritocratic education, wherein schools are hailed as engines of social mobility, often falls short when structural disadvantages persist. In countries like the UK and USA, minority students, especially Black students, face disproportionate punishments such as suspensions and expulsions, hindering their progress. Furthermore, biases, both conscious and unconscious, perpetuate inequalities, limiting the potential of marginalised populations.

However, amidst these challenges, a beacon of hope emerges in the form of innovative programmes like inemmo’s ‘Levelling-Up’ initiative. This programme recognises the multifaceted nature of resilience and addresses the unique needs of young people through personalised coaching and mentoring. By focusing on five key areas – parental influence, cultural identity, teacher impact, workplace environment, and coaching and mentoring – the Levelling-Up programme provides a holistic approach to building resilience.

Central to the programme’s success is the implementation of a tailored coaching contract for each participant. By understanding and addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by each individual, the programme creates a supportive environment where self-efficacy and confidence can flourish. Drawing from psychological approaches like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the ‘Sedona Method,’ participants are guided to examine their beliefs, needs, and desires, empowering them to challenge self-limiting thoughts and explore their true potential.

In the backdrop of the global pandemic, which has exacerbated mental health issues among young people, the Levelling-Up programme stands as a testament to the transformative power of resilience. Surveys conducted by reputable organisations such as Place2Be and the National Association of Head Teachers, underline the urgency of addressing mental health problems, including low self-esteem and depression, among students. The programme’s effectiveness is not only measured in statistical data but also in the heartfelt testimonials of its participants.

The impact of the Levelling-Up initiative transcends mere numbers; it weaves success stories that inspire and uplift. Participants, once burdened by self-doubt and societal biases, emerge as confident, resilient individuals ready to navigate the challenges of the world. Their journeys reflect the essence of resilience in action, demonstrating that with the right support, young people can overcome even the most formidable barriers.

One participant attests, “Without this coaching, I don’t think I would be where I am today. The structure, personalisation, and delivery pushed me to my limits, helping me uncover my true potential.” Another shares, “It has been life-changing – what happens when you have the courage to take your place in this world, and the programme helped me see that.” 

The Levelling-Up programme not only equips young individuals with essential skills but also fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment. As one participant eloquently puts it, “I am now very proud of myself and all I have achieved.” These sentiments echo the sentiment that resilience is not just about bouncing back; it’s about soaring above, transcending limitations, and embracing one’s full potential.

Resilience, when nurtured through meaningful connections and personalised support, has the power to transform lives. The Levelling-Up programme stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path for young people to overcome barriers, dream big, and carve out their pathways to success. As we celebrate the triumphs of these resilient individuals, let us recognise the profound impact of tailored support systems and continue to champion initiatives that empower the next generation to face adversity with courage and determination.

Inemmo – Coaching to Inspire, Empower and Motivate.

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