Each year, the grounds at Eton are home to a selection of individuals we believe crucial to enriching the academic and co-curricular lives of the boys. Our Annenberg Fellow and Artist in Residence have been staples of Eton life, providing meaningful connections and opportunities to learn both in and outside the classroom for several years. We have now added our first Social Action Mentor this year to work with our boys to help them become socially literate, aware citizens who give back to their local communities. All three individuals are superb role models, not only introducing boys to new perspectives and ways of thinking, but also sparking interests that last long after our pupils leave Eton.
We have added our first Social Action Mentor to work with our boys to help them become socially literate, aware citizens who give back to their local communities.
In 2018, Eton recruited its first Social Action Mentor, Misha Mehta. Misha’s role is to support boys in their efforts to become effective social entrepreneurs by helping them to develop viable projects that make a demonstrable difference in local, national, and global communities.
The impetus for making this appointment came from the wealth of projects and programmes proposed by Eton boys—and a sense that a lack of dedicated adult support meant that these projects failed either because the initial scoping was too ambitious, because it was not possible to safeguard the boys effectively, or because boys needed help organising themselves to make projects happen. Misha is supporting boys in all three areas.
Among other initiatives:
- She has founded a monthly ‘social action newsletter’ which enables boys to share ideas and experience of social action work.
- She has supported the Eton Action team in structuring a set of committees of older boys, focused variously around volunteering, advocacy, fundraising and project development, which feeds from B Block to C Block, and down through the school community.
- She has established a wildly successful ‘Social Impact Forum’ for younger boys in D, E, and F Blocks, creating a pathway for boys interested in developing themselves in this way.
- She has worked with the Careers Department to launch the ‘Student Consultancy for Schools’ project, which will see small teams of Eton boys learning the skills of strategic consultancy and offering their services to local charitable organisations.
She has developed multiple small projects with different boys, offering support, empathy and structure, to help them get things moving. Such efforts are clearly critical to our efforts to make sure Etonians become socially literate, aware citizens, with a mindset of openness, tolerance, and inclusiveness.
We are enormously grateful to Uday Khemka (RJGP, 83) for making the donation that has enabled the recruitment of Eton’s first Social Action Mentor. We are now hoping to raise money to create a Social Action Hub at Eton which will give further definition to these efforts, and demonstrate the centrality of this kind of work to Eton’s ethos.