I spent yesterday evening mock-interviewing young care-leavers to help them practice their interview skills. It’s part of an initiative by the Drive Forward Foundation, a charity that supports 16-26-year-old people who are leaving care, and gives them the right tools to move forward in their lives.
I was staggered by the self-motivation shown by these young people. All of yesterday’s group had completed degrees on subjects such as Business Law. One was doing an MA on how being a looked-after child impacts on their education. The statistics, she said, painted a picture that was overwhelmingly negative, and depended largely on a social worker or teacher who ‘cared’ about that particular young person. And there she was, sitting in front of me, talking about her MA.
I asked another delegate to give me three words to describe himself and he said, ‘self-motivated, confident and forward-thinking’. I asked him about the latter and why he chose it. He told me he’d had to push himself really hard to get where he now was, and I could see it glittering in the eyes of this young man sitting opposite me. We talked about the ways his experience as a looked-after child could be discussed in an interview situation and he said he would always raise it, as an example of how self-motivated he is, that he has managed to get this far in life against challenging odds.
In a previous group I met young people that were very different to these ones. One, a young Romanian man who wanted to work as a carpenter. The thing that glittered in his eyes was a defiance and a determination to get work and work hard. He’d found work on a building site in London and I daren’t ask what remuneration or treatment he might have received. I could see it written on his face.
Helping young people move forward is something I feel passionate about and Drive Forward is giving me the opportunity to give something back. They’re always looking for motivational, professional speakers or fundraisers so get involved if you feel the same as me. If you are a business that would like to become a partner of the charity or donate to it, then get more details here.