Our Unique Approach
Our approach is based on principles similar to leading global companies' ‘high potential’, ‘talent’ development programmes and the training of elite athletes and sporting champions. In common with such programmes, the WF recognises that nurturing and enhancing talent cannot be left to chance. Take Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray, from a very young age both received specialist training and mentoring to help nurture their talents and to help them emerge as champions. Talent needs to be nurtured in a structured way to ensure it is cultivated, motivated and inspired with a single purpose - to ensure it grows to realise its full potential and develops to be the best that it can be.
Whilst based on similar principles, the WF’s approach is unique. The combination of five factors gives our programmes their distinctive high impact. These are:
• Firstly, targeting young people at key stages of their educational development, such as the risk of exclusion from school (AIMS and NEET programmes), the commencement of GCSE courses (Junior Fellowship programme), the making of career choices during further education (Succeeding in STEM programme), critical stages of undergraduate study (Leadership Programme), and the transition from graduation to employment (Passport to Employment Programme);
• Secondly, by associating participants with others of similar talent, ambition and motivation but of different ethnic, cultural or social origins they are encouraged to freely express themselves, examine their history, and enhance/develop the skills that will help them navigate the challenges they will face as they embark on the next phase of their educational or professional careers;
• Thirdly, focusing on more than just participants’ academic development and employment. We focus on their personal growth as citizens of contemporary UK society through programmes that encourage independent thinking, challenge participants to be fully conscious of their responsibilities as well as their rights.
Diversity, Excellence, Community, Integrity, and Leadership, known as our five tenets, are the organisation’s core beliefs/behaviours. Together they represent our ’DNA’ and serve as our competency framework;
• Fourthly, providing participants with ‘tutoring’ and ‘guiding’ by programme leaders whose credibility comes in part from having themselves succeeded in achieving significant success, and often, have done so in the face of institutional racism or other bias; and
• Fifthly, partnering with leading employers, educators and parents and carers.
Targeting the whole Spectrum of talent through the range of programmes, our work targets the complete spectrum of talents, from those whose talent is often latent, the disaffected and alienated, who may be on the verge of exclusion from school and need to be re-engaged; through to those young learners who are performing well, and already demonstrate the clear potential to be amongst the highest performing in our society.