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Celebrating Franklin Scholars!

15 December 2014: posted by BigChange

Big Change purposefully finds and supports projects that unlock the potential of young people. In 2014, we have partnered with 6 wonderful projects – we are delighted to present Franklin Scholars and founder Jessica Barratt!

Franklin Scholars are all about harnessing the power of young people to support one another. They have developed a structured and effective in-school mentoring system that sees older pupils helping and guiding younger ones. Their unique programme equips both mentor and student with skills, relationships and confidence. Seeing these young people both rise up, learn from and support each other is truly inspiring.

Big Change is supporting Franklin Scholars to scale from 3 schools to over 60 by 2016.

We sat down with Jessica Barrett, their founder and CEO, to catch up on her year, Big Change and what’s in store for 2015.

Jessica Barrett

Give us one word to sum up your 2014?


What has been your biggest success in 2014?

Taking Franklin Scholars from pilot stage through to fully-fledged social enterprise working around the country.

What empowers you to work?

The young people we work with are a constant source of inspiration, motivation and empowerment – both to me as an individual and to each other. Seeing the change in them and those that they work with helps me believe in the change that we can spark in lots more young people around the country.

Name someone who inspires you/makes you dream bigger?
A young man I met recently in Uganda, who has led an awe-inspiring grassroots youth movement, borne out of some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable, and is a living testament to the fact that nothing is impossible!

What does this project mean for your organisation?

Having the backing of Big Change means a lot. It means we’ve been able to expand our team and reach more schools and more young people. It means that people are behind us in our mission and that helps drive us forward. It fills us with hope and excitement about what we can achieve in the future. The enthusiasm and drive of Big Change, the other partners and everyone involved is totally infectious!

What are you doing to celebrate Christmas?
A healthy amount of family time followed by a much-anticipated week in Morocco with my wonderful other half, which will hopefully be a nice mix of relaxation and adventure, with a visit to the Sahara firmly in the itinerary.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2015?
To expand the work and spread the joy of Franklin Scholars to many more schools around the country; to get the organisation in a sustainable position so that we can continue to grow in the years to come; to help more young people help more young people.

How do you want to make a Big change in 2015?

I want to help more young people realise that they have the power to make a big change – both in their own lives and in the lives of others.

Check out more about Franklin Scholars: