COLOGNE, Germany – Ford engineer Kader Durmus really is Going Further to help students from Turkish backgrounds achieve their full potential in German schools.
Durmus, who coordinates the collaboration of FCSDE with the Ford-Otosan factory in Turkey, is a mentor with “KomMENT” – a social project set up to motivate lower secondary school students to complete their studies.
Durmus grew up in Hürth together with his Turkish parents and four brothers and sisters. After completing secondary school, he took up an apprenticeship as an automotive mechatronics technician before joining Ford where he went on to complete an engineering course at a distance learning university in London.
For the past year, he’s also been volunteering as a KomMENT mentor together with his colleague Töre Deniz Yilmaz, engineer at PD in Merkenich, visiting students at secondary, lower secondary and comprehensive schools in the Cologne area.
Just recently, he and his colleague addressed five classes at the Henry-Ford Secondary School in Cologne-Chorweiler, reaching out to 250 pupils, highlighting the advantages of education and the disadvantages of dropping out of school.
As mentors they strive to wash away feelings of fear of failure and give the students some direction in choosing their career.
“I always say, failing a piece of work is not the end of the world. It is an opportunity to recognise your weaknesses and work on them - to learn from your mistakes and do better,” says Durmus.
For his commitment to “KomMENT”, Durmus has already been honoured with an award from Bildung & Eǧitim. But what gives the mentor the most motivation to carry on is positive feedback from the students.
He remains in contact with some of them by email and is a contact partner for questions on career entry. Further school visits are planned soon, the next being the Henry-Ford-Realschule in Cologne-Chorweiler.