Getting started with StreetInvest
The summer holidays are well underway which only means one thing, dissertation research begins. On Monday, my two week placement with StreetInvest commences, and a dissertation that has been weeks in the planning will finally come to fruition. I am beyond excited! The offer to undertake a placement with StreetInvest is something that I could not refuse, to touch base with experts that have a wealth of experience and an array of contacts. Moreover, undertaking research through a placement evokes the feeling that my research has a purpose, which drives my ambition further to ensure that this is a successful piece of work. Let’s get started!
Pursuing a degree through two departments, Geography and, Politics and International Relations, gave me a choice. I could ponder towards the traditional elements of my degree, persevering with research into the political jousting of party politics or electoral reform, that no doubt arouse interest, but, maybe I could be a little more daring and try something different?! The offer to undertake a placement with StreetInvest has allowed me to diversify my scope of exploration beyond my degree course, reopening past commitments and interests. StreetInvest’s prioritisation in supporting those children who are most vulnerable, those who are street-connected, through the provision and training of street workers, resonated strongly with my years prior to university spent as a member of my local youth council. During my membership I worked with youth workers, and young people with very different, but also very similar backgrounds to myself, and during this time I learnt the importance encouragement and acknowledgement plays in a young person’s life. The chance to re-engage with such values was an opportunity not to be missed.
Adopting StreetInvest’s belief that the one common ‘reason’ that all ‘street-connected’ children share, is that they lack a trustworthy adult in their lives, I intend to focus on the role of the ‘trustworthy adult’ away from the more adult-led formal coaching and counselling relationships and understand the role mentoring relationships have on young people’s resilience. In particular the role that the implementation of mentoring relationships have on young people within the developed and developing world. The main purpose is to gauge how successful mentoring is as a strategy in helping children at risk, particularly given that, unlike formal coaching and counselling relationships, mentoring allows for the child to choose the direction the relationship will take.
My research questions are as follows:
- How are mentoring relationships established/advanced within the developed and developing world?
- What is the role and impact of mentoring relationships on young people’s transition into adulthood (17-21 years)?
- What are the challenges faced by the mentor in the process of implementing mentoring relationships as a ‘mentor’?
With my research questions in hand and the 10th August approaching, I am soon off to Twickenham for two weeks. I cannot wait to see how this placement unfolds!