2 MIN READ
Date Posted: 21 September 2017
I have been fortunate enough to gain exposure to not one but four Smart Futures programmes in three different locations, even though I have only been with the Foundation less than six months!
My first programme kicked off in London with the Easter cohort and I learnt many valuable lessons, one of which was to ALWAYS recruit more volunteers than necessary.
Shortly after my first programme I shifted my focus to the summer programmes in London, Reading and Bristol.
During my time in Reading, I spent most of my first two weeks helping students obtain their Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualification and the rest of the time convincing them that I am still “cool”. They quickly reminded me that I am no longer in the age bracket of someone considered cool!
My experience with the Bristol programme was slightly different as I was further from home and had never been to Bristol before. Once again I spent my time helping the students with their CMI qualification and my evenings exploring Bristol. Some of my many adventures included visiting Bristol’s planetarium and watching the solar system in 3D, and visiting the suspension bridge - the view is simply breathtaking!
I have several highlights from the programme, but what has stood out for me the most is seeing students who started off lacking confidence blossom and develop into young professionals in a space of just three weeks.
I have been touched to hear parents thank the Foundation on the work they do and the impact it has had on their children. I have really enjoyed watching and listening to students giving each other constructive feedback on ways they can improve without being facilitated, and I have had students express how much hope and motivation the programme has given them. For me, that is what the programme is all about – helping young people realise their potential and finding ways to improve themselves.
Being on the 2013 programme helped me realise my potential and the options that are out there for me, and coordinating and delivering the programme has allowed me to help other young people realise their potential and see the options available to them – and there really is nothing more rewarding than that!