AMBASSADORS OF HOPE
Hope is the pillar holding up the world.
When I realised the many negative outcomes than an excluded student may face this prompted me to start a not-for-profit organisation called Say It With Your Chest. I started Say It With Your Chest because I had hope that things could be implemented to help those who are at risk of being excluded from school. I also wanted to show young people that there was hope.
My story – I have several years experience working with young people in different educational settings, where I have successfully improved behaviour, grades, confidence and attendance. I also have a first class psychology degree and I have completed training in counselling skills and adverse childhood experiences.I am passionate about using my skills, experience and knowledge to improve young people’s future outcomes and empowering young people to raise their aspirations.
Did you know that…
One in four students who are excluded are not in education, employment or training between the ages of 16-19 (Department of Education, 2011).
An excluded student is four times more likely to be jailed as an adult (The University of Edinburgh, 2016).
Only 1% of excluded students go on to receive five good GCSE grades ( IPPR, 2017).
Not engaging with school and being excluded are very strong indicators for those who are at risk of involvement in youth violence (Youth Safety Taskforce, 2018).
Nine out of ten young people who are in contact with the criminal justice system due to youth violence were excluded from school ( The Greater London Authority, 2018).
When I realised the many negative outcomes that an excluded student may face this prompted me to start a not-for-profit organisation called Say It With Your Chest. I started Say It With Your Chest because I had hope that things could be implemented to help those who are at risk of being excluded from school. I also wanted to show young people who were at risk of being excluded that there was hope for them and that not everyone had given up on them.
Young people are the future therefore they need to be supported to thrive. This is something that Say It With Your Chest aims to do through the delivery of our Switch Ambassador Programme. The programme consists of bespoke group workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions. The Department of Education’s statistics show that students with particular pupil characteristics are excluded more than other students. These are students with special educational needs, students who are eligible for free school meals and students from the black and minority ethnic community. We therefore focus on supporting these students.
I started Say It With Your Chest in 2018 and a year later I was awarded a Shackleton Leadership Award for my work with Say It With Your Chest. I was given a leadership award as it was recognised that the Switch Ambassador Programme ‘‘ is an inspirational project and run by a promising leader with the will to make a difference.’’ Receiving a leadership award is a testament to my drive and ambition in achieving a better future for young people.
The Roman author Pliny the Elder comments that ‘‘ hope is the pillar that holds up the world.’’ With this in mind my hope for the future is that young people feel like valued members of society, certain young people are not disproportionately excluded from school, young people are supported to reach their full potential and young people are given a voice regarding things that impact them.
If you would like to find out more about Say It With Your Chest the website is www.sayitwithyourchest.co.uk