The goal of "ROCK YOUR LIFE!" is to offer everyone an equal chance at gaining an education. This is still a common problem in Germany. Youngsters, who grow up in non-academic families (i.e. whose parents haven't studied at university), are also less likely to attend “Gymnasium” (university-track secondary school) and enroll at university than other children their age. The pupils who participate in RYL, or "coachies" as they are called, attend “Hauptschule”, a general-level secondary school. This type of school allows pupils to get their school-leaving diploma after only nine or ten years. Your job is to accompany a pupil during their last two school years.
In "ROCK YOUR LIFE!" you help your pupil prepare him/herself for life after graduation. You can do this, for example, by working with your partner to identify his/her personal strengths and weaknesses. You can also help him/her find an internship or write an application. There are many possibilities - it all depends on the needs and interests of your pupil.
If you'd like to be a coach, don't worry - you won't be thrown into cold water. Before you even meet your pupil, you receive an introduction to the programme. "One thing we learned, for example, is what to do at our first meeting. Naturally, you have high expectations and can't wait to meet them, but they told us not to expect too much. For example, it might be hard to start a conversation. The important thing is to find out how to relate to your pupil. Every person is different, each has their own character," Mai recalls.
Each association has different procedures for teaming up coaches with their pupils. Sometimes the coachies pick their coaches, and sometimes they decide for each other. You are expected to accompany your pupil for two years, which means that you should be planning on staying in Germany for at least two years. You should also bear in mind that, because your pupil is younger than you, his/her English won't be as good as yours. Therefore, it would be good if you spoke a little German.