It is a difficult age for young people. You've turned twelve or thirteen, maybe things aren't going so well at school, your parents don't understand you. But hanging out with your buddies is no solution either. So what should be done? Especially since the school years will soon be over and important decisions have to be made for the future.
This is where the so-called "herzo coaches" come in. Following the example of other cities, adults take the initiative and declare their willingness to accompany the young people on this difficult road to puberty. "They strong self-confidence and develop the strong of young people", says a flyer about the tasks. And they keep young people "in line during difficult phases". Important: "it's not tutoring", as co-initiator anna-cornelia scharboch explains in a press interview.
Gottwald merl and johann strigl are two of these herzo coaches of the first hour. The project in herzogenaurach has been running for a year now, and now the preparation period for the second school year begins. Last october, they each took on a student from the seventh grade of middle school. The two men, aged 63 and 60, want to walk the path together with their students until they have found an apprenticeship or made the transition from school to work.
Getting to know each other
"The first three months we got to know each other", says johann strigl, the graduate mathematician who is now in semi-retirement. Because it is particularly important to build up a relationship of trust. Contacts with the parents are also indispensable for this. "You have to get a holistic view", says the niederndorfer. "Ideas develop from this."
The two, the schoolboy and his coach, usually meet once a week for about an hour to exchange ideas. "One hour usually turns into two", says strigl. Then they sometimes go to a cafe.
Similar is the case with gottwald merl, the retired electrical engineer. The coach should be an adult friend to the young person, he says. Therefore the relationship must be built on trust and discretion. "I try to keep the distance as small as possible", says the hammerbacher. "A little bit of buddy-buddy relationship is allowed."
Trust is important for the 63-year-old, also with his family. Whereby it is always the young person who decides whether the parental home should be involved in certain matters.
About 20 tandems currently
Because the young people have sometimes concerns or questions, which one would not ask the parents in such a way. This is what the new city youth welfare officer verena haas points out. She coordinates the project at the recreation center on behalf of the city together with anna-cornelia scharboch, who also draws a positive balance. "At that time, we were not only interested in giving a kick-off, but also in entering the active phase", says scharboch in the press interview. This has been successful, he says, with around 20 tandems currently in operation. Almost 30 coaches are available. Because there is a demand from the schools in the coming school year, new coaches are urgently needed. There will be a public information event at the town hall on thursday.
Platform for helpers
At the monthly exchange meetings, there are always up to three new interested parties, says scharboch. Even if "not everyone who is interested becomes a firm believer," she says, this nevertheless shows the positive development of the project. The goal was to last for one season.
The herzo coach, as the initiator explains, "is a platform for adults who want to help". This happens on both sides in the form of security, trust and discretion. The seventh classes were chosen because they need the space to build a relationship. The plan is to provide support over three to four years. Scharboch continues: "the relationship of trust is the most important thing." The action serves to develop the personality of the young people. It's important to ask young people: "what do you want to be when you grow up??" She sees the charm of the action for the young people in the exclusivity and discretion. "The students can have an adult all to themselves."
The almost 30 coaches are on average about 50 years old. From 35 to 68 years the span reaches. They come from all professional backgrounds. Scharboch: "there is a tremendous power in it." All coaches have one thing in common: they want to work with people, enjoy working with young people and are able to listen to them. And they want to give something back that they have experienced positively in their working lives.