AQA Unlocking Potential launch

Published: Friday 16 Dec 2022

AQA Unlocking Potential saw its biggest launch to date with 120 students from across the country attending events in Guildford, Milton Keynes and Manchester for the start of the 2022/23 programme.

AQA Unlocking Potential is a ‘transformational’ mentoring programme for students from 11–19 years of age, delivered by world class athletes from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, that aims to bring out the best in young people so that they can achieve their goals.

After marking a decade of the programme in 2022, we’ve committed to a further four years partnership with the Trust, and this year’s programme has expanded to reach greater numbers than ever before, with 120 students from 30 schools taking part, and benefiting from inspirational mentoring from world-class athletes.

Students took part in icebreaker games and group challenges in the morning session, and listened to the athletes share their own stories of overcoming adversity and the personal challenges they faced in achieving their goals. In the afternoon the students worked in smaller groups and got to know their athlete mentors who they will be working with for the next eight months, and they all received an AQA Unlocking Potential branded hoodie at the end of the day.

The athlete mentors will be visiting the schools to work with their groups over the next three months ahead of the mid-point events in March, where students will present their plans for their social action projects to a Dragon’s Den.

Claire Bennett, former GB Fencer and Dame Kelly Holmes Trust athlete mentor, said:

“AQA Unlocking Potential is a fantastic programme and I know myself and all the athletes enjoy it immensely. The young people get so much from working with their mentors and it really does help them to become more confident and aspire to greater things.

“I’ve been part of this programme for 11 years now and I’m so pleased the partnership has been renewed for another four and is reaching even more young people, I can’t wait to see all the amazing things they will achieve on their journey.”

Shabnam Shahani, AQA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development, said:

“We’re delighted we’ve renewed AQA Unlocking Potential for another four years, and our partnership with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, the programme has such a positive and inspiring impact on the young people that take part.

“This is the biggest intake of students since the programme began way back in 2012 and we’re really looking forward seeing them progress and develop over the next eight months.”

You can follow their progress on Twitter, using the hashtag #AQAUnlockingPotential

Students gathered for a group photo in Manchester with AQA at the Unlocking Potential event

– Manchester Unlocking Potential launch 2022/23

Students gathered for a group photo in AQA's Guildford offices at the Unlocking Potential event

– Guildford Unlocking Potential launch 2022/23

Students gathered for a group photo in AQA's Milton Keynes offices at the Unlocking Potential event

– Milton Keynes Unlocking Potential launch 2022/23

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