Yo, thank you for wanting to know about AIME. We’ll do our best to front foot some of the common questions. If we don’t nail them all, feel free to ping us a note. Your questions help us refine our answers and we'll use them to update this space and help everyone to understand AIME as quickly as possible.
What’s the end game?
Our vision is to bring rebellious mentoring to every campus in the world and see every university student across the earth mentoring high school kids who are being left behind.
We’d love to do ourselves out of a job and have inspired a generation to lead, provided the tools, then be able to declare that the problem we set out to solve is solved. For example we want to start by seeing Indigenous educational inequality ended in Australia where we started this movement. We believe every non-profit should have an exit strategy and should be trying to finish what they’ve started.
What are some of the headlines on AIME?
Started in 2005 with 25 kids and from 2005 to 2018 AIME has gone from:
- 25 kids (mentees) > 10,000 kids
- One country > Three countries (on the way to 4)
- 965 uni student mentors > 3000 uni student mentors
What are the plans for the next 3 years?
- 20,000 Indigenous kids in Australia
- 20,000 kids in the US in 2020
- 100,000 kids worldwide by 2021
How is AIME going to achieve the plan for the next 3 years?
In a simple sentence, we are looking to take the model back to where it started with our founder, a volunteer model led by university students to mentor high school kids. And as an organisation we are working round the clock to make the tools that will simplify the process for the university students across the globe running AIME.
To provide the training to take the AIME model to the US, Pacific, India, and Africa we're chartering a plane to Sydney in Feb each year to target up to 20,000 disadvantaged kids in one go. On the 2019 plane, 200 uni students from different US campuses and coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be flown alongside world class leaders, storytellers and performers, to be trained and inspired at the world's first ever Festival of Mentoring. On return each of them will launch AIME in their campuses and aim to mobilise 100 mentors to work with 100 disadvantaged school kids.
What are two videos we should watch to try and get a quick sense of AIME?
You got any headlines on the Founder and CEO?
- Founded AIME as a 19-year-old uni student starting with 25 kids, in the third year of his degree.
- CEO @ 22.
- Young Australian of the Year award recipient.
- Youngest person in Aus history to receive Hon Doctorate.
- AIME BRW 12th Best Place to Work in Asia.
- Got a book called The Mentor of which the proceeds raised fund our work globally.
What’s the vibe?
We are an organisation that inspires, mobilises and then trains-up university students to set up and lead our mentoring model for their local high school kids who are at the greatest risk of being left behind.
Our origins are in Australia with the oldest continuous surviving culture in the world, Indigenous Australians, and today we build mentoring bridges between universities and high school students across the globe.
We believe that a permanent shift in mindset can lift kids out of educational inequality, unlock their power and strength in their inner selves, and reposition the role of education in their lives as something for them to own.
Who has endorsed the program?
Where is AIME operating?
Australia, primarily with Indigenous Australians and also working with African Australian kids. Uganda, South Africa, and in 2019 across the USA.
How has the model evolved since 2005?
Our Founder started the program as a 19 year old university student volunteering his time and getting his friends together to deliver workshops and mentor local kids in Redfern, Australia.
The year was 2005 and it was less than 6 months after Facebook was founded. Just as Facebook has developed a level of intelligence with their design, since our inception we’ve been relentlessly trying to crack the design framework to have an off the shelf toolkit which can create mentoring sessions between mentors and mentees.
We’ve grown to be a significant team in Australia, and are now doing our best to rapidly race back to the future.
We want AIME to be free and are now heading back to our roots where it was founded as a volunteer led model.
In the USA in 2019 we are commencing The Hooded Scholar program for 200 college students to have the chance to over the course of a year be flown to Australia, trained in the model, and then get the opportunity to lead the change on the ground at their local campus.
How is it funded?
In Australia we have a clothing brand AIME Apparel that is raising funds for the program and features kids artworks on the garments which is a nice full-circle moment. We are working at pace to get to a point in the not too distant future where AIME Apparel funds our operations globally. For the people, by the people :)
At the moment in Australia, on top of the Apparel revenue, we receive a mixture of university, corporate, philanthropic, government and individual donations.
Our global work is currently funded by a small group of philanthropists, international universities, every day citizen donations, the proceeds from our “Wanna Change the World” t-shirt, and all of the profits from our Founder’s book “The Mentor”.
We also receive significant in-kind/added value support from organisation across the globe from supporting us with logistics behind our Apparel, helping move our people around in planes, or housing them in hotels, through to accounting, legal support and media organisations. These groups and individuals commit to giving their knowledge and influence to give as many kids as possible in across the planet the chance to have access to the AIME mentoring model.
What does the acronym for AIME mean?
French for love… Could mean rocket ship if you want it to. :) We believe in lighting up kids imaginations, turning up and being reliable, being mentors that don’t give in. AIME means equality for some, learning for others, kindness for many, hope for those who dare to, and accountable measurable outcomes and action for all.
Our founding name was the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience. :) And our roots will always be in Australia with Indigenous people, including our Founder, a key element of the soul. Today, AIME has the roots of our past and the waves of the future beating through our four letters. AIME is mentoring, like you’ve never imagined.
What steps are in place for child protection?
We work around the clock to try and nail this.
Here’s the setup...
In each jurisdiction we operate in we work to uphold the highest standards of background checks and clearance for both our volunteer mentors and staff.
We’ve worked on designing the model so there is no contact allowed between mentor and mentee without an AIME mentor leader facilitating the session, which all happens in groups. Meaning no one-on-one contact is allowed, either is the exchange of contact details.
Our mentors go through a rigorous training and interview program where we attempt to ensure we are finding people that will protect and not harm the kids safety.
To be able to engage in the program, all mentors must have signed a declaration form and be cleared with the relevant checks required.
But this is still not perfect. People can slip through any system. So we then work on creating feedback loops where mentees, mentors and teachers can report to our lead mentors or to our head office anonymously or otherwise an incident they believe needs attention.
We have zero tolerance for abuse or discrimination of any kind, and if we ever reach the point where an incident occurs, we swing into action with the relevant school, and key parties to get the fastest and safest solution for those affected.
It’s not perfect, nothing is, but know that we are sweating the detail year in year out to refine this process. If you’ve ever worked in this field and have any case studies or tools you feel could improve our child protection processes please email us we’d love your wisdom to keep improving.
What are AIME’s registered business numbers?
Indigenous Corporation Number (ICN) - 7040
Australian Business Number (ABN) - 31 081 797 652
US details will land here soon :)
Are donations tax deductible?
In Australia, yes. In the USA we are in the process of finalising our 501(c)3 application which will make donations in the US tax deductible :)
How much does it cost to be in the program?
It’s free for kids to participate in the program throughout their high school years.
How do students join the program?
We rock out to the local schools that have the demographic of the kids who are being left behind, offer the model to the school principals and key staff, then if they say “yep”, we get in the game pitching to the kids, who take home an application to their parents.
The parents and kids apply for the kids to be in the program and our first session is an interview with the kids to get to know them and give them the chance to fight for their spot in the program. In reality we take 99.9% of the kids into the program that we interview, but this process draws a line in the sand that AIME ain’t here to change these kids lives, they are the ones who are going to have to change their lives, and to do that, they are going to have to fight day in day out to lift themselves up. We teach them to fight for what they believe in from the very first interaction.
This ain’t a victim model where we feel sorry for these kids. This is us saying, you meet us halfway then we’ll go to the end of the earth for you, but you gotta step up or nothing will change.
How do you measure the change? Does it work?
We track the kids year on year school transition results, and compare it against the national benchmark of the average kid from that country. We then track their transition from high school into either university, employment, further training or other pathways. We are working towards at least 75% of the grade 12 kids transitioning into work, university or further training in Australia and matching that benchmark or the relevant national benchmark for each nation we work in.
All our transition data is audited by an independent authority.
Check out our impact page which has a summary of the research & impact to date.
Is AIME Apparel going to be setup in the USA and other countries?
Yes. Working on it. Bigger project than we thought trying to run a global, ethical, cool clothing productive efficient kind of business. :) You can sign up here to be notified when things launch in 2019.
How do I get involved?
To start, everyone everywhere can become an AIME friend and receive our Sunday Kindness mail-out, and you can also be a friend of AIME Apparel to get the latest Apparel items. Our social media platforms are where you can give a voice to these kids, we do our best to profile new stories that challenge the stereotypes week in week out, giving kids the stage, just like in an AIME session, to rise up and use their voice to shape a new future.
If you are a university student and AIME is at your campus you can apply to be a volunteer mentor.
If you are a university student and AIME is not at your campus you can put in an expression of interest to get AIME to your campus.
If you are located near a university campus where AIME is and would like to share your knowledge with the kids, you can offer to run a failure time session. Here is a link explaining failure time, and here are the local emails for all our universities.
If you feel like you are an absolute baller with an incredible story to share you can apply to be a guest on AIME TV. Check out the vid on AIME TV here and the apps are here.
If you would like to get us to your local university then our suggestion is to jump on the emails and get a meeting with the president of your university and get them in the game.
If you are a university executive and would like us to work with your university ping us here.
If you are a school that would like AIME at your school, flick your note here.
If you would like to partner with us in Australia, you are either a university, or organisation interested in funding our work and working together you can email us here.
If you are interested in partnering with us globally you can email us here.
If you are interested in studying AIME here are your pathways:
- For university students and high school students - your friend is this website, and Google. Google AIME, Google our Founder, track all the articles and interviews and you’ll get everything you are looking for. Unfortunately we can’t say yes to interviews for university or school assignments.
- If you are a university or research organisation interested in conducting research on the impact of AIME, you can express your interest here.
If you want work with AIME, chuck in your CV here and ask to volunteer with us, that’s your best bet to get your foot in the door. Join the friends list, and track the jobs that come out on this page.
If you wanna grab some AIME Apparel, jump here.
If you wanna make a donation and send these kids a message that you are standing with them, jump here.
Every year we record session attendance and track progression through school, for every student in the program. We also track the paths our kids choose once they leave high school.
Where do I put in a media/speaking request? Can I get your founder to speak at an event?
Shotput your request over here.
For Jack speaking it’s pretty unlikely, he’s slammed with our work going across the globe and has a young family, but send it through anyway, and we’ll see what we can do. In many cases we can give the opportunity for one of our incredible mentors to rep AIME.