My time in Youthreach was one of the best experiences of my life. If I had not attended, I would not be where I am today and for that, I cannot be more grateful. Before attending I had no idea what I wanted to do after leaving school as I never liked school, to begin with. From my first day in Youthreach I could tell that it was completely different. The teachers show much larger respect for students and they treat you as an individual, not a number.
For the first time in my life, I was happy to get up in the morning and go to school and was confident in what I was doing and where I was going. The staff both past and present made it feel like a home away from home and treated you as an equal. Through the help of the staff and with the mentor programme I found a course I was interested in pursuing in college and they helped me find out more and how to apply.
Although at first, I was sceptical due to the requirements of the course and I felt like I couldn’t achieve the points required, they encouraged me to try and even set up extra classes to support me and give me the best chance at achieving my goal. When I got my results, I found that I exceeded the points required and got my top choice, Electronic Engineering at Limerick Institute of Technology.
At first, when I enrolled, I found it too difficult and I wasn’t planning on sticking it out as I found some of the subjects just too much and felt everyone else knew far more than I did. However, I took my most important lesson from Youthreach, never being afraid to try and never be afraid of failing, and carried on. To try and get help understanding some of the Maths involved in the course I asked a lecturer for assistance and he directed me to the Learner’s Support Unit where I found essential help. He also recommended that I apply for the Leaders Programme which offers scholarships to a number of students and supports them through college. To my disbelief, I was awarded this scholarship and was delighted to see that Youthreach sent one of the teachers to be there for the awards ceremony.
Had I never attended Youthreach and met all those who made it a life-changing and vastly educating experience I know that whatever I have accomplished up to now wouldn’t have been possible. I want to deeply thank them all and any success I have in the future will be credited to all they have done for me, thank you.