An introduction to Young Trainee Leila

Here’s an introduction to our third new Young Trainee, Leila

Leila-002I am a motivated and determined individual and I am always ready for a challenge. I recently graduated with an upper second class honours in History and Politics from Westminster University.  I went to Dame Alice Harper School in Bedford until the age of eighteen. Dame Alice was a private all-girls school which had both a school council and head girls’ team. Participation in both the council and head girls’ team were chosen by election followed by a set of interviews. I served on my school council for a short period and one issue I was involved in was the push for the inclusion of trousers in our school uniform. I didn’t enjoy the experience as I was made to feel from the outset that I didn’t have the right qualities or ideas that the teachers appreciated. This is part of the reason I was so excited to get involved in a programme such as this, with a mission to involve all young people in their school council and most importantly give them the chance to have a voice.

I have previously volunteered with young people through the Salvation Army and the Team V programme with the charity Vinspired. I have volunteered in other area’s including as a peer to peer mentor for Solace Women’s Aid and sat on my university trustee board as the student representative for two years. Through my involvement I have seen one main issue in many young people which was a lack of motivation to volunteer and also a lack of aspiration. I think this is largely due to the poor opportunities of employability that the young face today, but also poor school practices. This is just one of the many reasons I believe in the importance of a programme such as this, which prepares and teaches young people transferable skills which they will be able to use in employment.

I also consider school councils of extreme importance because they are one example of giving children the much needed voice they need, now and in the future. Schools councils build a relationship between students and teachers, helping children to be able to converse with adults and to learn how to put there point across about issues they feel are important. This is especially important for children to learn throughout childhood but also as it is a transferable skill they will need on countless occasions throughout their lives. If this can be taught within schools and through programmes such as this one, it should result in children having the confidence to speak out in many different situations that may occur.

I am excited and nervous to start my journey as a Young Trainee, exited to be able to meet so many young people but nervous as I do hope I will have some positive influence on their lives. My hope throughout this programme is that I learn skills that I can pass on to young people that will be of use to them over and over again.


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