Summary Research

As part of developing its Theory of Change, the Beacon commissioned a literature review to validate the assumptions behind the four key 'interventions' in its Leadership Development Programme, viz:

  1. Identifying leadership potential in young people who have financial need and providing scholarships to enable  them to access world-class schools and universities.
  2. Matching each scholar with a faculty or professional mentor to help develop their leadership potential.
  3. Coaching scholars on how to set goals and targets and monitor their own performance using the Beacon Target Sheet.
  4. Conducting leadership workshops and overseeing summer community service projects.

These interventions have evolved organically, as the Beacon seeks to fulfil its mission of developing a group of ethical ‘change-makers’ who have a multiplier effect to generate positive social change.

The research goes some way towards validating the Beacon’s holistic approach to leadership development in young people. This is a very condensed Summary:


We begin to develop Scholars at age 13 because starting leadership development young takes advantage of a ‘sensitive period’ in formative growth; as one gains confidence in one’s efficacy as a leader, a ‘snowball effect’ occurs and more leadership opportunities are taken on.

We provide scholarships to leading schools and universities because attending high quality educational institutions is strongly correlated with increased career opportunities and outcomes for graduates.

We match each scholar with an individual mentor because well-designed mentorship programmes have been shown to be effective for ‘improving outcomes across behavioural, social, emotional, and academic domains of young people’s development’.

We emphasize individual goal-setting via our Beacon Target Sheet because self-setting goals that emphasize personal growth has been found to improve academic and career outcomes, without compromising intrinsic motivation.   

We require Scholars to conduct summer service projects because experiential learning is important to youth development, and service-learning has been shown to increase students’ self-concept, political engagement, and attitudes toward out-groups