Rocking Ur Teens was established in February 2015 as a social enterprise which operates in education, youth and social mobility sectors. It offers inspiring conferences that expose teens to corporate environments, apprentices, graduates and interns, giving them a practical insight into the world of work. They create relationships between young people and corporate organisations to develop pipelines of diverse talent that are accessible, providing socially mobile speakers who share stories and act as role models. Rocking Ur Teens is important for communities because it helps support young people make that important and often challenging transition between childhood and young adulthood by providing advice, guidance and inspiration and offering insights into the world of employment. It increases aspirations and helps teenagers to get on track for success through inviting them to workshops and conferences. They explore challenging issues such as the development of self-esteem and mental health awareness through speakers that have experienced it. Rocking Ur Teens also help dispel career and employment myths, including ‘science is not for girls’ and engage audiences with inspirational speakers such who are leaders in Science, technology, Engineering and Maths industries. The teens benefit because they increase their self-confidence, have gone on to mentor others and been introduced to careers that they haven’t heard of before. They break down barriers between those from culturally diverse backgrounds and continue to bring together a national and international audience. They also introduce teens to social action at an early age to illustrate how they can make a difference in their local and global community. At a recent conference, a young man made a commitment to meet his head teacher and arrange to hold an school assembly on mental health and young people, as he had suffered from depression himself.

Rocking Ur Teens is well supported through volunteers, students and teachers. They encourage others to attend the events and be a part of the Rocking Ur Teens movement. The Rocking Ur Teen co-founder Sandy, along with Jenny Garett and the board members, bring a range of expertise including leadership skills, business planning and strategy which all contribute to the development of the business. The biggest challenge has been time and resources and meeting the demands for their services. They are clear that as a social enterprise they should not only breakeven, but need to begin to make some profit to be sustainable. They also ask for small contributions to the services they provide. Jenny’s advice is that social businesses need to learn about the big priorities that are impacting young people and create innovative solutions. The most important resources for their business have been the people, particularly the volunteers, board members and speakers who are crucial for the business to function effectively. They have been sponsored by corporates and are looking forward to accessing funding in the future. Rocking Ur Teens would like to expand their partnerships with schools, corporates and organisations based in Europe to increase the exposure and diversity that students who attend their conferences experience. Although they use social media and their work has been featured in the media, their prestigious and high-quality speakers and ambassadors also spread the word about what they do.


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