04 July 2016

Melody Hossaini, former Apprentice star and social entrepreneur, has been touring schools across the country with a thought provoking presentation that's resulted in many young people reassessing what success means to them and how to achieve it. The latest leg of her tour included a visit to Midlands schools Hagley Catholic High School and Haywood Academy.

InspirEngage International based in Birmingham, was set up by Melody in 2009 and has since worked with a wide range of educational institutes and organisations delivering Social Enterprise Days, Apprentice-style career clinics and bootcamps, helping thousands of young people into work social enterprise of simply to know what they want.

Melody has been speaking at assemblies to help young people fulfil their potential this summer by encouraging them to go beyond school and develop their skills further through extracurricular activities, citing National Citizen Service (NCS) as the perfect way to learn new skills.

NCS is a two-four week part residential programme open to all 16-17 year olds during school holidays and is being run by APM across the West Midlands. The programme aims to widen horizons, bridge social divides and create community cohesion whilst developing key skills for work and life. In the third phase of the programme, participants create a social action project in the local community around an issue they are passionate about and spend 30 hours implementing.

Melody has visited several schools across Worcestershire including Hagley Catholic High School near Stourbridge where she presented to 165 pupils. Sharing her journey on Twitter via #SUCCESStour, Melody continued her partnership with NCS in delivering InspirEngage boot-camps as part of the summer programme.

Ted Hammond, head teacher of Hagley Catholic High School said of Melody's visit: "It was engaging, inspirational and a wonderful opportunity for our Year 11 students to be encouraged at this important time in their lives. Hearing from someone as successful as Melody was a moment that I'm sure our students will remember, and I've already heard corridor talk of NCS so I'm sure she has encouraged a more sign ups."

Melody Hossaini, CEO of InspirEngage, says: "When I speak to students, I'm always hearing about the catch 22 of not being able to get a job because of lack of experience, and not being able to get experience due to not being able to get a job. This is why it's vital for young people to get involved with things when they're time-rich! NCS offers a unique opportunity to add to your CV, learn vital skills and importantly, get out and do something different!

She continued; "We're delighted to partner with NCS to offer schools a thought-provoking presentation with the #SUCCESStour - our message is; success is a choice and it starts with saying yes and showing up to things."

The InspirEngage boot-camp offers young people the chance to develop the skills to firstly shape a solid project, then turn their project into a social enterprise, thus continuing to make a difference whilst also earning an income.

Emma Blackband, student support coordinator at Haywood Sixth Form Academy says: "It was the best presentation the sixth form has ever seen. It's nice to get a fresh opinion from someone who's been successful who is still local to the area. A great level of energy and professionalism whilst still being on the same level as the students."

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