It’s not how good you are, but how good you want to be, says Dharshini Ratnayake and Nayanee Silva (Co-founders of Quantum LEAP).
Many are the options in the world of higher education, yet few are left with making the most appropriate choice. A youngster would arrive at a crossroad by 18 years and he/she would be influenced by current trends, parents, friends, etc. Rarely do individuals examine their inborn talents and abilities and look for unique options as worthy of pursuing as a study and a career option. I am aware of many who analyze the current trend of careers; doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers and a few more and chose same out of practicality, reasoning it to be the safer option, but somewhere down the line they are left with a nagging sensation of what it might have been to do what they actually liked. What were their options? Were they able to make the correct choice?
A few days ago, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting two brilliant ladies, who had brainstormed the idea of offering students the best possible choices, in terms of education. Despite the mushrooming education institutes that we see around the country, students are often left in the lurch. Not so with LEAP, which is a pioneering effort in the field of education, ensuring students get the best on offer and more.
The following is an extract from the information sheet provided:
“Students as young as 12 are guided through individually by the extensive support network of LEAP; each person is offered a set of educational options uniquely tailored to each individual. LEAP has developed a process of assessment and profiling for students from the age of 12 to 18 and beyond, which aims to give their clients a range of further study and career options based on assessments of their ability and personality, using tests of potential and psychometric tests developed in the UK. The LEAP process produces a strategic forecast of a student’s educational and future career path, which aims to help them achieve their best, through focused guidance.”
The founders of LEAP are professionals who felt that there was a real need in Sri Lanka for guidance in education, based on a motivational and inspired approach. Dharshini Ratnayake and Nayanee Silva are the co-founders of LEAP, who recently launched the service to students of international schools in Sri Lanka. They introduced the concept to five international schools in Colombo in the first week of April and the response had been positive from students, teachers and parents alike.
Dharshini Ratnayake is a UK qualified barrister, who spent over 20 years in the UK working in the legal and corporate sectors and returned to live and work in Sri Lanka, just over a year ago. She is based at the Colombo office of LEAP. Nayanee Silva is an electronic engineering graduate and UK chartered accountant based in the UK office of LEAP, who worked in corporate finance and consultancy in the UK for many years, before leaving the corporate world to work on her own consultancy. Nayanee is the grand-daughter of former Minister of Education, the late I. M. R. A. Iriyagolle, who established D. S. Senanayake boys’ school in Colombo 7. Dharshini and Nayanee have together created a network of educational and other professionals from various fields to work with LEAP to provide young people with opportunities and exposure to chosen fields of study.
LEAP aims to inspire and motivate young people to achieve their potential by helping them discover themselves. The idea being that if a person is helped to find an area they are passionate about and then set out to study this, they would be more likely to find a successful career they truly enjoy, not just choose a job for the money or status. The philosophy of LEAP is to present the student with a range of options, so that they can choose from not only the well established conventional professions, but also from new and evolving fields.
According to LEAP, by the time a 12-year-old currently in education completes his or her degree, there will be careers out there that did not exist when they started secondary school. They firmly believe in keeping in touch with new opportunities. LEAP uses a series of cognitive ability tests and also a psychometric assessment of personality traits, to create a profile of a client, which can then be used to forecast their future exam grades GCE (O/L), A/L and IB (International Baccalaureate); thereby, making it possible to provide the client with a selection of educational and career options. This advice is encapsulated in a LEAP Report. The students are also given help with developing their talents and other skills to form a well rounded personality, bringing a holistic approach to the process.
LEAP services include: careers advice, assessments and testing, life-coaching, writing and building the CV, development of soft skills needed for interviews, help with work experience placements, gap year advice and help with selecting and applying to university courses, in many countries. The major benefit of LEAP is that not only does a student get a full profile of their abilities and personalities, they also obtain access to a network of institutions and opportunities that LEAP partners in Sri Lanka, the UK and other countries are able to provide.
LEAP also intends to continue educational research in the area of motivational and creative education, with a Board of Governors consisting of educational professionals dedicated to finding innovative and creative educational strategies. This is a strategic objective that LEAP will focus on, in the near future. The LEAP process can be continued for as long as a student requires support and monitoring within the stages of their education. This type of advice and educational counseling is very much needed in this day and age, as students face ever increasing competition to get into good schools, universities and jobs. LEAP has offices in Surrey, UK and Guildford Crescent, Colombo, Sri Lanka. More information is available on their website, www.your-leap.com.