How long have you been working at Youth Opportunities?
I have been at Youth Opportunities for 4 years now.
What does the best day at working at Youth Opportunities look like for you?
Being in the training room working with students and being the catalyst that helps them decide what they want to do and how they want to be. Using all types of mediums to create a space for students to feel safe and valued, where they can make decisions and positive choices based upon their definition of success and happiness. Seeing a young person grow, develop and realize their capabilities is inspiring in itself, and I am very lucky to be able to do what I do.
What have you learnt from one of our graduates?
I have learnt that our young people can be resilient, strong, and dedicated to making the change they need. They can have the self-belief that they can achieve their dreams and the ability to not be defined by their circumstances, and that is what drives me to keep doing what I do.
What do you wish you at 15 knew now after experiencing the YO program?
EVERYTHING. Life for me at that age was a real struggle. Part of the reason I love what I do so much is I can give opportunities to these young people and knowledge of how to tackle things in life. They can take or leave my thoughts and suggestions – I am not here to force anything on anyone. But through adversity brings necessity, and if I can help some struggles of these young people, then I have done my job.
“This program really does save lives”. The amount of times I have heard that from my graduates astounds me. I just wish I knew all the tools or at least some, and I did not have to learn them for myself over many years.
Which of our Personal Leadership tools do you use most in your own life?
It’s hard to pick on, to be honest, as to me they all are entwined with each other. I think ‘Decide to be Happy’ would be the leader of the rest. Using an ability to look for positives when all it seems you are surrounded by is negativity is a hard ask. Even after you have chosen to do that, you still need to decide to do it – and going from thoughts to actions is tough. Wow, I wish I could have chosen more than one.