Me, myself and IARS

This past year was filled with lots of uncertainty, changes, and growth. I adjusted, as best I could, to virtual schooling and then was lucky enough to return to my university in person for a summer semester. When planning for the later summer months I knew I’d have 6 weeks before returning to school in the fall and I was eager to stay busy and gain experience in a field of interest. I didn’t want the pandemic to prevent me from seeking out an internship opportunity and I was so excited to discover that many organizations were offering virtual experiences. I was lucky enough to find an organization that placed me with IARS and from the first meeting I knew it would be a good fit.

I have had an outstanding time interning at IARS and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I have learned a lot about myself, both personally and professionally through this experience. For example, if I ever get a desk job I definitely need to invest in a better chair. More importantly I have gained confidence in my verbal and written skills, feel more comfortable working independently, and have learned the value of strong communication. Each task I was assigned prompted me to learn something new and I always felt supported by my advisors regarding asking questions and receiving feedback. This was a new experience for me, and their encouragement made it even more worthwhile. Maija and Sophia made any doubts I had about doing a virtual internship disappear with their attentiveness and liveliness. They created an exceptionally welcoming environment, and I can only imagine the work environment they have helped to curate in London. 

During my time at IARS I was given the opportunity to write an article for the 99% magazine, attend a webinar on preventing gender-based violence, work on finding local contacts in the Southwark borough, help conduct research for the Latin Hub project, and make suggestions for IARS’ social media platforms. The experience was perfectly designed to allow me to learn more about research and policy while also giving me the ability to improve my communication and online skills. I will take this newfound confidence, knowledge on the community-sector, and heightened interest in social issues with me as I embark on future endeavors. I am grateful for the past 6 weeks and I can’t wait to see how the organization will continue to evolve and make an impact. The work they are doing is certainly making our world a better place. 

Thank you to my supervisors for trusting me and giving me the space to learn and grow.

By Moira Hogan

EMBARGOED 00:01 TUESDAY 8 MARCH 2022 

We are Sculpt

IARS International Institute to operate as Sculpt

*Charity CEO available for interview – details in notes 

A UK-based youth charity today changes its operating name from the IARS International Institute to Sculpt. 

IARS is an international NGO that’s been working to empower young people to forge a fairer society for over 20 years. Their work is guided and evaluated by young people themselves.  

Over the last 20 years, IARS has delivered more than 70 successful projects that have addressed real problems that young people face, in areas such as: 

  • Gender discrimination 
  • Violence against women and girls 
  • Supporting young people to find work 
  • Creating green and sustainable business 
  • Promoting collaboration among young people across the world and much more. 

In 2021, with the world changing rapidly and opportunities for their work shifting, they decided to refresh their purpose and identity, and made the decision to rebrand as Sculpt. 

Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of Sculpt, said: 

‘We are delighted to launch our new brand that speaks to our aim to empower young people to shape their future.

‘We believe that many of today’s young people are facing unjust challenges – economically, environmentally and socially. A fair, sustainable society can only evolve if all young people have the opportunities, the confidence, the ambition and the skills to make their voices heard and propel change in their communities, irrespective of who they are or where they come from.  

‘Our rebrand, like our work, has been guided by research and by young people themselves. As an organisation we base our work on rigorously researched evidence and are led in our approach by our youth advisory board. Their voices and insight are critical to solving the right problems in meaningful ways.’  

 

Notes to editors:  

Dr. Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of The IARS International Institute is available for interview. Contact Claire directly on: director@iars.org.uk +44(0) 7833 224442  

Sculpt

www.sculptuk.org 

Sculpt is a UK-based charity providing research, training and work-experience opportunities that empower young people to shape their own futures and those of their communities. 

We work directly with young people, employers and professionals who support young people. All our work is guided by young people themselves and based on carefully researched evidence. We: 

  • Facilitate forums for young people to make their needs and their voices heard. 
  • Publish a magazine by young people to express their perspectives and encourage debate around public policy issues. 
  • Conduct research to uncover young people’s real needs and what works to empower and support them. 
  • Deliver training to build young people’s confidence, skills, ambition, resilience and sense of responsibility, so they can shape their futures and change their communities for the better, as leaders, social entrepreneurs and active participants in civic life. 
  • Deliver training for professionals who work with young people, drawing on our research and expertise. 
  • Engage with employers to facilitate work experience and employment opportunities for young people to develop skills and access diverse jobs. 
  • Facilitate international exchange opportunities to encourage and enable young people to experience and appreciate other cultures, perspectives and ways of life. 

We tackle disempowerment from three angles: working directly with young people to build confidence and skills and their voice, working with professionals who support young people, and working with employers to break down barriers to opportunity.