I have worked with LNK since January 2017. I chose to get involved with LNK because of the great work that was being done with young people in the local community and my own experiences growing up in Croydon.
My role at LNK as Project Manager is to manage all the groundwork projects, planning and delivering the projects throughout the year. The project supports and guides to young people, who have been identified as being at risk of becoming NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training). The support is personalised, through 1-1 sessions and group work. I began working with the young people in their alternative education provision (Pupil Referral Unit), getting to understand them and building a relationship. During this time, I have watched the development and growth of their self-esteem, mature and achievements of things that they didn’t believe could happen for themselves. We are teaching the life skills they will need, if they wish to do well in their first year of independent education, employment or training. The ultimate goal is to get young people on track to succeed.
I wanted to be a part of LNK, because of my own experiences. When I was a teenager, I was excluded from main stream school during year 9, left my new school in year 10 due to bullying and had no form of education until 2 months before the end of year 11. When I was finally placed in an alternative education provision. I used the final 2 months of year 11 to complete 3 Introductory BTEC courses, which enabled me to get a place on a level 1 course at college. Because of the negative experiences I had, I felt as though I had been given up on and knew that there would be many other young people, who will have had the same type of experiences and feelings. I felt because of what I went through, I am in position to understand what some of these young people are going through and have a greater understanding of the type of support that they need, that I could offer.
Once I got to college, I successfully completed my first year and then I spent the following year on a level 2 course. I went on to do an apprenticeship and by the end of my apprenticeship, a full-time position at LNK was created for me, which I spent the next 4 years working for this organisation, working my way up, from an apprentice, to an assistant, to now a full-time administrator.