ROCK YOUR LIFE! is a mentoring program. Volunteering students are helping disadvantaged pupils and students to unlock their potential.
ROCK YOUR LIFE! (RYL) was initiated by students of the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Baden-Württemberg due to a speech of a former Federal Minister on the lack of Social Mobility in Germany. A survey at the university found that indeed children from non-academic households faced more difficult conditions there as well. Another result of the study was that each year 250,000 graduates from lower level schools did not directly find a job or training place after graduation and were therefore employed in so-called transitional measures. This is why ROCK YOUR LIFE! was founded as a mentoring program. Volunteering students are helping disadvantaged pupils and students to unlock their potential. The intention is to increase the social mobility in Germany, especially in regards to education.
RYL! was founded as a nonprofit educational initiative after the successful pilot in 2009/2010 in Baden-Württemberg and has since moved its headquarters to Munich.
In addition, ROCK YOUR COMPANY! offers inhouse-mentoring and training sessions for apprentices and young professionals as well as refugee-mentoring for young refugees and immigrants.
In Germany, the educational success of pupils and students is still dependent on the educational level of their parents. RYL! was founded to help these disadvantaged pupils to reach a higher qualification and therefore to increase the social mobility.

Resources needed

YL! receives financial support from federal funds and various company foundations. The seed capital was provided by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt. The support though private company foundations represents 60% of the capital. 20% are from sponsoring and 20% from own activities and services.

Evidence of success

RYL! has significantly grown, with now more than 50 locations in 3 countries. Approximately 1,000 mentoring-couples start each year. In addition the effectiveness is validated by internal revision, external evaluation is currently in progress.
RYL was awarded with the startsocial prize by Chancellor Merkel.

Difficulties encountered

A stronger networking/connection with politicians (including ministries) and educational organisations would be desirable.

Potential for learning or transfer

Currently, RYL! is active in 11 federal German states as well as in Switzerland. Another pilot has just started in the Netherlands. There is a high potential for replication as there is educational injustice not only in Germany but in many other countries worldwide.
The mentoring services of ROCK YOUR COMPANY! are especially valuable for hotels and gastronomy, because these sectors suffer from a comparatively high proportion of trainees dropping out. Other sectors which suffer from such a shortage of skilled staff could likewise benefit from this structured mentoring programme.

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Main institution
Tübingen, Germany (Deutschland)
Start Date
January 2008
End Date


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