‘We have a lot of fun together’

Martijn van Dongeren is a third-year student in Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft. He plays baseball and next school year he will be working with the student team AeroDelft on a hydrogen-powered plane. And he is a mentor for an eighth grade through School Cool, which he helps with the transition to high school. “It’s a lot of fun to make,” Martijn says.

“I was born and raised in Delft. After elementary school, I went to Stanislas College and generally had it easy in high school. I was especially good at math. A fellow student was not so strong in this, so I helped them every now and then during the lesson. I helped them extra for a test. ”

Interesting news

“I do not see myself as the stereotypical helper. But since November 2021, I have been a mentor for one in group eight. A while ago, I was in the news about a teacher in Utrecht who taught children outside of school hours who could not afford a tutor. I found that interesting. “

“At first I did not do anything about it until October last year. The idea had taken hold, and I searched the internet to see if there was such a thing in Delft. That’s how I came across School’s Cool. ”

Smooth to high school

“School’s Cool is not a tutor organization, but offers guidance through volunteer mentors. They have contact with schools and want to make the transition from primary school to high school smooth. In this way, the students match with different people, from young to old and with all possible backgrounds. They are also looking for new mentors. ”

“Children often have a disadvantage at a young age because they do not speak the language or, for example, their parents do not know how to find their way in Dutch education. As mentors, we want to give them a boost. Ultimately, they will be able to complete their youth education independently. ”

bold fight

“I had a good recording interview with Marijke from the organization. She also told that they have three groups: For eighth graders who go to high school, first-year students and children from second year of secondary education. It did not matter to me which audience I wanted to help, as long as I could help someone. That way, she got a match with my mentor child. ”

“The atmosphere during the admission interview was good, and I immediately felt welcome, which I still experience on the day of returning home. It’s super fun with the other mentors. Everyone is trying to contribute to society and I feel comfortable. ”

I’m proud of my mentor child

“I have a lot of fun with my mentor child. He finds it interesting what I do with space travel and he likes airplanes. School’s Cool made a good match for us. And I’m proud of my mentor child. In the six months that I have been guiding him now, I see his self-confidence increase. ”

“I had arranged a planner for my mentor child through School’s Cool. In it he could make appointments and plan homework. Every year the organization holds a party for both mentors and students, where we do workshops and eat together. Because my mentor child had used the planner well, he knew he unfortunately could not be there due to a basketball tournament. Then I know we have achieved something together. ”

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Small time investment

“I see him every week for an hour to an hour and a half. It’s fine for me to do next to school. In it I help him plan and everything that comes with the transition to high school. For example, I guided his parents and him in their search for a high school, for example, by seeking information about open days and enrolling in them. ”

“It gives me a good feeling to know this, but an even better feeling for the child. And it’s also a lot of fun to make. In any case, we will continue until he has an autumn holiday in high school. ”

Both seriously and lol

“We meet as mentors once every six weeks. Then we can discuss what we encounter. Occasionally there are courses and workshops where you learn something about what the children encounter. And now and then we arrange something fun with both mentors and children. We will soon climb the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk. “

“I teach my mentor child to plan better, but most of all, I learn how important it is to help others.” Do you want to help an eighth grader, first grader, or someone from high school, like Martijn? The school’s Cool is looking for new mentors. For more information or registration, visit the website.

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