In case you haven’t noticed, our flagship programme Star Track has just about reached the end of its inaugural year. This means two things: first of all, you can apply to be a part of the next year, and secondly, it gives us a chance to reflect and see what we’ve learned.
Here’s what we make of Star Track: it’s awesome. Also brilliant, exciting, innovative, and just generally great. But then, we would say that. So rather than having you all take our word for it (again), this week we’re bringing you the thoughts of two Star Track co-creators, Arfah and Suraj.
Arfah is a social media maven, immersed in current affairs and launching herself into the world of broadcasting. Suraj is a scientist looking for creative ways to make the world a better and more sustainable place. Both have been doing amazing work this summer at the Olympics (amongst other places), and have contributed some hugely valuable ideas to Star Track. So, here’s what they made of their year with Spark+Mettle…
Both agree that the best thing about Star Track has been the “talented, interesting, and ambitious” people they’ve met – both fellow co-creators and volunteer agents. Just hanging out (in the appropriately titled “hangouts”) has been beneficial – “it really does rub off on you,” says Suraj.
Aside from the all-stars within Spark+Mettle, the co-creators have also been in contact with experts and professionals in their respective fields. Arfah was able to meet documentary filmmaker Cherry Healey, who offered words of wisdom as well as leads for other contacts. Suraj says of Star Track: “Without it I would never have spoken to as many professionals, visited their offices or gained one-to-one advice!” Both, we can be sure, have had some very memorable cups of coffee. Their experience and conversations have set them in good stead for the year ahead.
As well as setting up specific employment paths, though, Star Track is also focused on nurturing soft skill development in its co-creators. This basically means helping young people discover whatever it is in them that will enable them to flourish, and then cultivating those assets. Or, as Arfah succinctly puts it: “Star Track has utilized what is best in me to make me super awesome.” Suraj says, “I have become more conscious, more pro active and more reflective which all help me to really think about what it is I am doing, why I am doing it and how I can do more in every field from gaining more out of my studies to more about my future.”
We asked Arfah and Suraj how they might use their Star Track experience in the future. Aside from discovering her strengths in social media and laying the groundwork for a stellar career, Arfah aims to use her soft skill expertise to help her friends and make stronger connections to whoever she meets. Arfah is also working on Spark+Mettle’s upcoming digital platform discoverabl.es.
Suraj says that he can certainly apply his skills to an upcoming Master’s placement, “but further than that I know it will play into my work and my life.” Suraj has also started his own science and art blog, and feels much more confident going forward: “A little bit cocky here but I do feel really employable and I know I could ace most interviews now.”
Arfah, Suraj and all of the other co-creators will remain part of Spark+Mettle’s family of changemakers. They’ll help plan and deliver our future programes and pass on what they have learned to other people, young and youngish. They will help Spark+Mettle extend its reach, and bring the power to flourish to everyone who needs it most.
If you think you’d like to be a Star Track co-creator for the next year, go to the application page to find out more. It’s free, and buckets of fun. If you’re a professional and you think you could be an inspiring agent to support our young people, or if you would like to offer some professional advice, get in touch.