“For the past year I’ve been supporting Aamir, an 11-year-old boy from Syria, during weekly reading sessions at his school in east London. To begin with, I had to work to earn Aamir’s trust and build a friendship with him. Aamir had faced many challenges before arriving in London, and naturally it took some time for him to connect with a complete stranger.

It was certainly worth the effort – I found the whole experience to be hugely rewarding. Initially, Aamir’s reading skills were slowly progressing, but he displayed a real passion and enthusiasm for reading his favourite books. I felt honoured to witness Aamir successfully extend his vocabulary and become a consistent and motivated reader who passed his reading test with ease.

Taking part in Deutsche Bank’s academic mentoring programme, through its youth engagement strategy, Born to Be has been a fantastic experience for me. I’ve had the opportunity to make a difference to someone’s life, and contribute to my local community. It’s also enabled me to develop my patience and negotiation skills, which in turn has improved my ability to perform well in conflict resolution scenarios as part of my role at Deutsche Bank.

My experience of volunteering has been very positive. I’ve always been interested in supporting the future generation through taking part in youth volunteering programmes. I hope to continue to be involved in volunteering and would encourage others to do the same.”

Deutsche Bank’s global youth engagement programme, Born to Be, focuses on education and enabling talent. In 2015 over 1.3m young people were reached through 178 projects worldwide. In the UK, where youth unemployment affects nearly 1 million, Born to Be targets 11-18 year olds, focusing on breaking the cycle of youth unemployment through early intervention. In partnership with Volunteering Matters, employee volunteers are matched with 11-15 year olds in schools across London and Birmingham to coach them in either maths, English, foreign languages or financial literacy. Volunteers provide essential one-to-one or group support to build skills, knowledge and change attitudes, helping to break down barriers faced by young people moving from education into employment.

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