The Impact Mentoring Academy (IMA) has created two new courses after receiving financial support from HSBC. The two courses are TV Production and ‘Impact Investors’ and are part of the Academy’s wider Trades Programme.
In conjunction with Fresh TV Bermuda, the TV Production programme teaches students about camera work, commercial video production, live events, shows and engineering. ‘Impact Investors’, which is still only in the pilot stage, will teach students about financial literacy and market investments.
“Mentoring Academy is a personal development organisation,” explains Chris Crumpler, Executive Director of IMA. “We focus on character development and we believe in the importance of mentoring at this age, particularly for boys. Their talents are already there. We must encourage, inspire and give them buy in and ownership of their education.”
The Academy has a number of different pillars that help to develop character, and the Trades programme is just one of these pillars:
“HSBC has helped us to bring on staff, new resources and new programmes,” continues Crumpler. “Through these programmes, some of our students have already gained summer employment and career opportunities. The work that HSBC is doing is changing the trajectory of young people’s lives. People are now saying they want to come to school. We have one student who wants to come to school just because of the TV programme.”
“We’re so grateful that the bank understands the importance of systemic and sustained work in the community.”
“One of HSBC’s main priorities is to help young people get the education they need and acquire the skills that will help them pursue their career and business goals,” Neville Grant, Head of Corporate Banking /Senior Manager overseeing the IMA-HSBC partnership. “The IMA has a proven track record of not just inspiring boys to stay in school but also of getting their students either into College or straight into full time employment.
“We believe that by supporting the Trades Programme, particularly the TV production and investment courses, we are helping them to not just enjoy their time at school, but also to learn valuable lessons and life skills in an inspirational environment.”
Based at ‘The Old Berkeley’, the IMA is an alternative to mainstream education and is a boys-only middle and secondary school. Through tutoring and mentoring it aims to instill high character, sustainability and also give its students multiple skills to survive in the 21st Century.
“Everyone is doing a podcast, everyone is doing their own TV station,” says Crumpler. “We think of trades that you’re actually going to be able to use so you can benefit personally and financially.”
In addition to the TV and Investment trade courses, the IMA works with independent barbers to give students lessons in that business, and they can also study landscaping and gardening, painting, robotics and aquaponics. In addition to learning the tools of the trades, they are also taught how to promote themselves so they can successfully sell their skills to the marketplace.
“If you have multiple skill sets and you’re not dependent on a huge industry to manage your family’s lifestyle, you have a sense of freedom,” explains Crumpler. “When life slaps you at 25 or 35, that’s when being a man is really tested. We talk about the elements which affect your narrative about who you are and who you see others to be. It’s so important because boys don’t really get to articulate this and how they feel.
“To make it work, someone has to sacrifice. Someone has to pay the bill with their time. They may think ‘Yes, I’m smart, but I’m tired, I’m lonely and I’m scared, but I know who I am and I’m not going to make decisions on my feelings, but on my values.
“No matter what we teach, it all has to reinforce the values of character as a man. You have to be a man of integrity and value.”
In the past four years, IMA has had a 100 per cent success rate of getting its graduating students a college acceptance or full time employment and in some cases they have achieved both.