A school is looking for ex-pupils to help inspire children through a mentoring scheme.
Roding Valley High School in Brook Road, Loughton, introduced the alumni scheme this year.
Former pupil Jimmy Durrance, 17, was the first to return and give a talk about his public services course at Harlow College.
He said: “Going to college is phenomenally different to school from the way people act to the way you talk to teachers. There’s no Miss or Sir at college for example.
“It would definitely have benefitted me if I had had a point of contact when I arrived so I thought I could offer that to the people in the year below.”
Donna Mason, careers development manager at the school, said: “The children respond a lot better to former students than they do to staff.
“When Jimmy came in they asked a lot of questions and they feel more comfortable asking their peers questions than they would asking teachers.”
For more information email Mrs Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org