All through my teenage years, I was always a bit of a trouble maker. Anything my parents wanted from me, I would do the opposite. They wanted me to attend church, I wanted to listen to hardcore metal. They wanted me to be a nurse, I wanted to be a pathologist.
I dropped out of school at fifteen due to feeling like I didn’t fit in and everyone else’s lives were moving at a slower pace than me, so no one really understood where I was coming from with my issues and problems.
I started college, hoping it would be better due to older people attending but I scraped through my GCSE’s by the skin of my teeth, still feeling the same way. I finally got to move out of my parents’ house at sixteen but the loneliness and the feeling of people not understanding me stayed until I hit my early twenties.
When becoming an adult, one thing never left me about my teenage years. The feeling like there was no one I could really talk to or relate to and I wanted to make a change or to help young people who felt the same way.
I started off working in the youth centres across Rhondda Cynon Taff. I really enjoyed working with the young people and when the opportunity arouse, I applied for a Detached youthwork job for Rhondda Cynon Taff. Now that I’m here, a year and half into my job, I really feel I’m doing what I set out to do all them years ago. I walk the streets three nights a week, talking to young people about anything they want to talk about from sexual health to housing to activities. I work in the local schools, delivering OCN qualifications in CEOP and Raise it, a project that addresses all the areas such as stress, self harm, body image, positive mental health and eating disorders.
I have finally found where I belong and that’s helping young people who are going through all walks of life. So, if you see us out and about in our red and purple hoodies, please come say hello!