// RATIONALE _
In Germany the link between a young person’s prospects and her socio-demographic background is remarkably strong. The German school system is very selective when separating young persons into different secondary schools at a very early age. As a result, a very high rate of deprived pupils ends up in the lowest kind of school. These pupils suffer from a very negative public image and, consequently, often don’t develop an active and self-conscious perspective towards life. In addition, they are in many cases isolated from other societal groups and milieus, hindering interaction and understanding between them.
ROCK YOUR LIFE! addresses these problems by bringing together different cultures and parts of the German society. Our mission is to help creating a society where strong, mutually supportive connections exist beyond and between cultures. We pursue a society where young people get encouraged and empowered to literally ROCK their lives in a way that corresponds to their individual talents and potential.
// TARGET AUDIENCES _
Our main target audience are pupils from socially disadvantaged milieus at the age of 14-18 years. That particularly includes pupils visiting lower German secondary schools and pupils living in social hotspots. More than 70% of our participating pupils have a migrational background.
Our second target group are students of all disciplines that participate in ROCK YOUR LIFE! as coaches and support pupils for two years. Voluntary students also organize our local branches and are therefore the most important factor for establishing and realizing ROCK YOUR LIFE! in a city, in universities and in schools.
// OBJECTIVES _
- Relationships between young persons from different cultures, religions and nations that otherwise would not exist
- Better educational and occupational chances for deprived pupils
- Higher acceptance of pupils with an unconventional or migrant biography on the side of companies
- Students get sensitized for societal circumstances and their social responsibility
- A differentiated public view on deprived pupils and the reduction of collective prejudices towards them
// MAIN ACTIVITIES _
Within the ROCK YOUR LIFE! program pupils from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are coached by a collegiate ROCK YOUR LIFE! coach over two years, thus being empowered to unfold their individual potential and to realize job or education related goals in a self-responsible and self-conscious way.
University students complete a professional qualification programme which enables them to support and accompany pupils on their way to employment or higher education. Thereby, potential future decision-makers are sensitized for different cultures and religions and become part of a social movement that stands for social mobility and equal access to education.
A Germany-wide network of partner companies complements the individual coaching and improves the pupils’ chances of a successful apprenticeship or job entry. ROCK YOUR LIFE! is organized as a social franchise with currently 23 local branches all over Germany in large cities such as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne.
// INITIAL OUTCOMES _
Today approximately 1,000 pupils and 1,000 students actively participate in the ROCK YOUR LIFE! programme. 500 additional students and young professionals support us by voluntarily organizing and coordinating the program in our local branches. By the end of 2012 the number of coaching relationships will grow to almost 2,000 and 10 new local branches will be founded. Our aim is to support 10.000 pupils in 50 cities until 2015.
The pupils that participated in ROCK YOUR LIFE! so far have achieved better grades at school and trained important social skills. Besides assessing their personal strengths and desires in the coaching relationships they also gained intercultural competence by working together with their student coaches that in most cases do not origin from the same country or do not share the same religion as the pupils. The coaching couples therefore learn to listen to and respect each other in order to establish a successful and trustful relationship.
// SUSTAINABILITY _
By establishing individual one-on-one ROCK YOUR LIFE! coaching relationships between students and pupils, several positive effects in terms of educational and social mobility occur. On either side perspectives are broadened, social skills get trained. Pupils and students discover together what it means to literally ROCK one’s life. Schools receive support since their lack of resources doesn’t allow for individual mentoring. On a societal level, we contribute towards social integration, mobility, solidarity and equal opportunity.
Besides social sustainability we also pursue financial sustainability by developing business models besides of funding through donations, awards, CSR-partnerships. Our current and most important business model is the ROCK YOUR LIFE! partner company network which at the same time represents a crucial factor for our effectiveness: it facilitates our pupils’ job entry.
ROCK YOUR LIFE! mediates between those looking for qualified and motivated future employees and those looking for future perspectives according to their individual talents and dreams. Our partner companies pay a fee to be part of our network, raising their chances of receiving attractive applications and simultaneously contributing to the financing of our work. The bigger the ROCK YOUR LIFE! movement grows, the more companies become part of the network - and the more pupils can find appropriate jobs or apprenticeships. Thus, we create sustainable win-win-situations for all our stakeholders.