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Lisa Cooper

CATALYST

Lisa founded Catalyst to support youth who are at risk of not completing their education. Catalyst is a mentor and coaching program, which matches youth, primarily youth with a minority background, to a personal and trained mentor.

Problem

In Norway, many youth are at risk of not completing their education or actively seeking employment. This problem is even greater for youth with immigrant background. Youth lack triggers to enhance self esteem and motivation, and are exposed to a constant stream of distractions, which contributes to a lower level of performance in school. In terms of education, schools are not appropriately equipped to coach students about the value and meaning of education and the importance for future career. There is a lack of role models and parental ability to motivate and information about the value of education. In terms of employment, there is a lack of knowledge of the resources this group of youth represent. This leads to a lack of work experience and discrimination from employers side, when recruiting new employees. Youth also lack relevant networks who provide the opportunity for work experience. Altogether, this leads to low self-esteem, high dropout rates, and a consequential low employment level for those who have dropped out of school (often youth from multicultural backgrounds). The Norwegian society is missing out on the great resources this group represent.

Solution

Lisa´s solution has been to create a mentoring program, called Catalyst. Catalyst offers appropriate and tailored support through a one year mentoring and appreciative coaching program mainly targeting youth with minority backgrounds that connects them to a personal and trained mentor.

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