Critical Software Expands Mentoring Initiative to Support 200 Children

September 15, 2021

Companhia do Estudo’s mission is to inspire young students from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed at school. This year, the initiative aims to expand and help support and guide up to 200 schoolchildren in Portugal.

Companhia do Estudo

Companhia do Estudo's pilot, launched in April this year, initially secured 30 volunteers from Critical Software, who were given a chance to share the challenges and achievements of teaching and learning with students.

To be part of the Companhia do Estudos volunteer team, volunteers need to attend or have already completed their higher education and undergo a selection and training process. Registration is currently open and prospective volunteers can enrol before October 5 here.

As well as expanding the programme to support older students, Companhia do Estudo will introduce two new programmes: one focused on teaching programming (Scratch) and robotics in primary schools, and another on organising events that introduce culture, science and sports to children with the help of external entities and companies. At all times, the volunteers aim to inspire, motivate and support children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their academic performance and broaden their horizons.

The new programme will continue to help students excel in their school work while contributing to developing their personal skills, self-confidence and self-esteem, all necessary to achieving their academic potential.

"The pandemic has made access to education even more difficult than before, aggravating social inequalities and undermining children’s interest and understanding of core subjects. That motivated us to create an initiative which would help counteract this trend. We started with our pilot scheme, encouraging our employees to help mentor younger students from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing academic and emotional support. The pilot left us beyond satisfied and eager to invite the community at large to join this project. We believe that, together, we can make a difference in the future of these children," explains Patrícia Garcia, responsible for Companhia do Estudo at Critical.

The initiative has received the support of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the University of Porto (FPCEUP), who helped design the project and develop a framework in which mentors’ work can be assessed, and Portugal Inovação Social, who assisted in identifying opportunities to implement and grow the initiative.

Critical will host a Companhia do Estudo webinar on Tuesday 28th September at 2pm where prospective volunteers can learn more about the initiative and ask questions of those who took part in the pilot.