Case study: Mohamed Abbas Omar
Mohammed grew up in Newham and went to Rokeby School, where he got into some trouble. But he focused on his goals and got good exam results. Now he’s working as a mentor at the same school. Find out how he learned to bounce back.
I’ve lived in Newham for over 15 years and was also educated in the borough from reception year to College. I attended Carpenters Primary School and was then enrolled at Rokeby School for boys in 2005.
Getting into trouble at school
During my time at Rokeby, specifically from year seven to year nine, I wasn’t particularly the best behaved student in school. I had multiple issues affecting my behaviour. The issues came from having strict boundaries at home - as my mother was a single parent within one of the most deprived boroughs in the country and I didn’t have a role model of a father figure in my life.
I was excluded in year 10 for a few days as I was involved in a fight. And I was put in IEU (Internal Exclusion Unit) on numerous occasions from year seven to year 11 for reasons like physical fights, defiance and aggressive behaviour towards staff and students.
Getting help from someone I could trust
During my time at Rokeby I received support from Ms Ward, a Behaviour Mentor. Without Ms Ward’s advice and interventions I do not think I would be working at Rokeby now as a mentor.
Working as a mentor at Rokeby School
I’ve worked at Rokeby coming up to six years now and I feel obliged to help these boys get through school as a lot of our boys have similar issues to what I had when I was a student at Rokeby.
Newham is still a deprived borough even though the Olympics being held here has helped it create new jobs as well as thousands of new homes. However, there are still countless people suffering, especially the youth in Newham, as not much has been done to help them achieve their goals.
Planning for success and bouncing back
My message to the youth of Newham and all boroughs is that just because you may not have had the best start in life, it does not mean you don’t get a choice in how you take the next step in your life. And all the steps after that.
For example, in my year 11 mock exams I achieved just three A*- C grades. But I worked hard for the following six months and ended up achieving nine A*- C grades.
My time as a staff member at Rokeby started when I was 17 years of age and from then till now I’ve progressed to being a mentor. So think about what you want to do and don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.
Think about it!