Fiona has written one of the first books
exploring the science behind the importance of role models, examining the workings of the brain’s ‘mirror neuron’ and the system within all of us that shapes who we are.
Through the work Future First does building alumni networks in state schools around the UK, we know the practical power of role models in motivating and encouraging young people to strive for success in the future.
We are now looking at how Fiona’s scientific expertise and Future First’s practical experience can be used to make an even greater impact on outcomes for young people, by connecting them with relatable role models in the form of their school’s alumni. In particular, we both see the critical importance of social and emotional development enabled through mentoring, including building self-belief, confidence, and resilience. These factors are central to a young person’s ability to engage in their school work and go on to have positive life outcomes such as better mental health, physical health, quality of life and career prospects.
Fiona said: “It’s wonderful to be working with Future First to raise awareness of the importance of the powerful role mentors play in enabling young people to understand and fulfil their potential. I’m excited about making this a practical reality, exploring both what young people look for in mentees and how they can play that role for those younger than themselves. Helping young adults to more effectively fulfil their own potential in the process.
“We mustn’t underestimate the importance of getting role modelling right, although it’s based on natural mechanisms, the modern world creates barriers. Meaning it’s critical that we use the expertise offered by Future First to ensure mentoring and role-modelling has the maximum impact.”
Future First’s CEO, Lorraine Langham, said: “This really is an exciting moment for the work Future First does for young people up and down the country. There is such synergy between Fiona’s work with global leaders, and our work with young people, all of it rooted in the power of role models.
“I am so pleased to be working with Fiona. For the first time we will be bringing together the science and the practical experience of role modelling to make a lasting difference for young people. The timing is perfect too, as we have recently developed detailed impact measures to evaluate and prove the strength of what we see in role model encounters.”
“In the post-Covid world, young people need role models more than ever before to give them the confidence that ‘people like me’ can succeed. Without hope and confidence for the future, we risk losing the talents of a generation.”