LIVING LAB Spin-off, Inspire (March 2023)

Showing the power of the living lab in practice.

INSPIRE: Changing Young People’s Lives Through Mentorship and Positive Relationships

The road to personal development and career success can be a challenging one, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Finding the right connections and building positive and supportive relationships with experienced professionals can be a key factor in overcoming these challenges and achieving success. INSPIRE, a digital social innovation, was born out of this need to connect young people from challenged communities with mentors who can guide them towards their desired career paths.

In 2019, a group of young people from the Ballymun and Finglas communities in north Dublin, along with community leaders and TD Paul McAuliffe, came together to discuss the challenges they faced in building successful careers. They identified the need for mentors who could provide them with suitable professional connections to help them navigate the industry norms, workplace behaviors, and career development in their chosen field of work. This led to the creation of INSPIRE, a mentorship program that aims to help young people build their social capital with professionals.

What started as a small pilot in Dublin in 2020 in our living lab, with support from strategic partner LinkedIn, has now grown into a national program. The INSPIRE program provides young people with a 9-month mentorship experience, where they are guided to build supportive relationships with mentors and gain the confidence to achieve their goals. The mentors work with the mentees to help them develop their own professional network connections while at university, and to support them in achieving the career they want.

The INSPIRE programme has already shown remarkable success in changing the lives of young people. The positive relationships developed through the program have helped many young people secure internships, jobs, and take their first steps in new directions. INSPIRE is committed to continuing to change young people’s lives across Ireland and into the EU, and to shape a positive future for our youth.

The INSPIRE programme is a testament to the power of mentorship and positive relationships in helping young people achieve their dreams. Through its innovative approach, INSPIRE is providing young people with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and is helping to break down barriers to success for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We can all be inspired by the dedication and commitment of the INSPIRE team and their partners, as they work to change young people’s lives for the better.