“Working with XLP has changed me for the better and I’ve learned how to develop aspects of my character, which were once holding me back, to my benefit”.
When I first got involved with XLP I was a very angry person. I would get wound up by the smallest things. I would verbally attack people, even when it provoked threats in return. I hated college so much that I stopped going for two months. My home life was hard too; my parents are separated and weren’t as supportive as they could have been. My mum wasn’t in a place where she could bring up my sister and so I took responsibility for her, raising her myself. I had to grow up fast in a short space of time. Socially, I kept myself to myself. I didn’t see the point in letting anyone get close to me as I thought they would let me down like people always did.
But youth workers at XLP challenged me to open up, and to change my attitude by taking small steps. For example, they encouraged me to make the decision to try going one week without insulting anyone and over time it became easier and easier to not do it at all. After a while, XLP encouraged me and three other girls to form a girl group together which we called ‘Skinni Latte’. Being in the group gave me a whole new outlook on life and through it I have been given so many opportunities and have met some amazingly inspirational people. I have become so much more positive and now have the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people; I hadn’t realised that there were so many people out there who would be supportive and willing to believe in me.
Working with XLP has changed me for the better and I’ve learned how to develop aspects of my character, which were once holding me back, to my benefit. For example, when XLP encouraged me along with some others to apply to the Barclays Apprenticeship Scheme, I channelled my stubbornness to keep me focused through XLP’s interview training and the assessment days… and I got the apprenticeship! I have been at Barclays for almost a year now. I have won awards for Cashier of the Month and Most Improved Cashier, and have even had dinner with Antony Jenkins, CEO of Barclays. I can now see the benefit of working hard and being consistent. I am a role model to my siblings and that is one of the best feelings in the world.
I feel so grateful to XLP for the opportunities they’ve found for me. I’ve been through a lot but XLP have stuck with me and given me the guidance to prevent me becoming just another statistic.
I’m going to be somebody and I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. I can see that now.