Hear from one of our graduates!
Before joining Unlocking Potential, I was helping my Aunty doing childminding. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. My experience of school was really bad. I didn’t do very well. Nothing seemed to go in. There were so many distractions. There wasn’t enough time for everything and it felt like it was all crammed in. I’d only ever applied for jobs because I was claiming JSA and never really knew what I wanted to do, not really. I heard about the programme through another graduate. Then I met one of the Trainers at the JCP and I knew it was an opportunity not to be missed. I joined the programme because it was a great opportunity for me to get the support I needed to achieve my goals. I never felt I had the chance to in the past, I didn’t get my qualifications and I wasn’t going on a career path I wanted to.
Having been on the Unlocking Potential programme, my experience of learning is different now. The learning environment here is very different. It isn’t like school one bit. Thankfully! The real-life challenges and experience better prepare you for what’s out there in the world of work.
I feel I achieved so much at Unlocking Potential. I got here every day and for before 9AM. In the projects, I met deadlines and followed through on plans. I overcame my fear of public speaking and giving presentations. I’ve loved every minute of it. I have most enjoyed the Taster Days and 2-week work experience. It’s help me decide what I want to do as my career. I now want to get into being a chef. I never realised that it could be possible. My work placement helped me decide that.
If ever there was problem, I always had someone to talk to. I have made some great friends on the programme too. These will last me a lifetime. I’ve definitely changed in my time here at Unlocking Potential. I’m more sociable, more confident and less terrified of public speaking.
I thought the hardest part would be leaving but I’ve seen that it isn’t like that there. You’re not dumped at the end of the programme. Since finishing the programme, the support hasn’t stopped. They helped me get more work experience, so I knew what kind of kitchen I wanted to go into. I hadn’t realised there’s such a diversity. Each one has its own personality. I’ve learnt lots of basic skills too. It’s like I’ve had my own chef training programme. I’ve even done some volunteering in the Unlocking Potential kitchen and helped prepare and cook food for the young people and staff. That was cool!
My advice to someone starting the programme would be to do everything wholeheartedly. Follow through on everything and get the most out of it!
From the Unlocking Potential Team – Toyan is an amazing young woman who has really excelled in a short period of time. When she started the programme, Toyan was lacking in confidence but she has grown remarkably to become a leader amongst her peer group. Toya has stood up to every challenge she has faced and makes public speaking look easy. Toyan certainly deserves all the success she gets as she really puts the hard work in. Continue to aim high Toyan, as there are no limits to what you can achieve. Toyan has been a wonderful asset to the team. She is a reliable and committed member of the team. It has been a joy to see her grow in confidence. Her tenacity and resilience have been exemplary, and she has never shied away from a challenge. She has continued to push herself out of her comfort zone by trying new experiences and has embraced every element of a projects. Toyan’s eye for detail, hardworking ethic and lovely polite nature, will ensure she will excel in her future plans.