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Young’un of the Week – Seyi Newell: Founder of ‘PAGES’

7 May

I can’t believe I managed to miss an inspiring person from last week’s blog posts! I could kick myself – BUT fear not! I have TWO for you this week: One today and one tomorrow.

Today I am featuring Seyi Newell, founder of new online book retailer PAGES. At 24, her fierce work ethic can only be admired and I hope this interview will inspire others to pick up their idea and fly with it.

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If you love a good book, listen up! This is Seyi’s story:

What was school like? When did you realise what you wanted to do with the rest of your life?

I was quite an individual at school. I was one of those people that hopped from group to group and had a very wide range of friends which made me quite open minded. My school work was also really important to me, I never wanted to fail (that’s still the same) so I always did my best and that still applies to me today.

I was 24 (when I realised my dream job). I had been working in fashion PR for a while, I enjoyed it but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do forever. Books have always been special to me. I was in a bookshop and I realised that there was nothing on the shelves that I wanted to read and the idea for PAGES literally just came to me at that moment in that shop. Some things just fall out of the sky.

Tell us about your new business, PAGES!

PAGES is an online book retailer for independent publishers which will be launching at the beginning of May. PAGES will also be a place where people can discuss everything from books to art to food. The idea is to make PAGES the go to place for a good book and to open up the world of indies to the mainstream.

pages logo

How did it all begin? It must have been so daunting starting from scratch with a brand new idea, where did you start?

I researched it first to make sure that it didn’t already exist. Then I went on a 4 day course with the Prince’s Trust to make sure that it was something that I could do and also something that I actually wanted to do: Luckily I was able to get a lot of help and support from both the Prince’s Trust and Bright Ideas trust. They’ve both helped with funding, mentoring and general support.

Running a business can be scary so I had to make sure I was making the right choice for myself, so I spoke to my mum and my boyfriend about it and they thought I should go for it. I needed a little push.

How do you stay motivated?

It sounds cheesy but you have to keep your eye on the prize. I’m staying positive and working hard because I know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and there will come a time when I can finally look at my business and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.

For now, I don’t need any more opportunities. I have support and I have help, all that’s left is for me to just do it.

Loads of ambitious youngsters have ideas that they want to turn into reality: What’s your advice to newbies?

Be persistent no matter how many people say no, if you believe in it then do it. Also, know yourself and your brand otherwise you won’t be able to explain it to other people. Know what you’re willing to put up with and what you aren’t. Lastly, know your limitations, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help if you need it.

What have been your main challenges and personal battles that you’ve had to overcome to get to the point of launching PAGES?

It has been difficult to get publishers on board even though they all seem to think it’s a brilliant idea. The publishing industry is very rigid (even though it is always calling out for change) so I’m having to try and work around certain things. The most I can do is be persistent and be aware of what I have to offer.

 

Time for the quick fire questions! Who inspired PAGES?

People who like to write a good book and the people who love to read them.

What kind of stories will be selected for PAGES?

There will be a really wide range of books on the PAGES website from photography to fiction to fashion. The one thing that all these books will have in common is that they will be good and they will be from independent publishers.

How can we get involved?!

At the moment people can go to our website and follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and sign up to our newsletter. When we launch people can read the blog, there will be so many interesting things on there, but most importantly people can buy a book and support our brilliant independents.

pages ogo kids

Handy Links:

The Prince’s Trust

Bright Ideas Trust

PAGES on Twitter

PAGES Official

Follow Me:

@sheldan2207

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TO BE MY YOUNG’UN OF THE WEEK CONTACT ME RIGHT NOW! I WANT YOU IF YOU DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND/OR WORK YOUR ARSE OFF TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE! WHETHER YOU’RE A PLUMBER, TEACHER, BUS DRIVER, SOLDIER, ARTIST, SINGER, TRAINER, WELDER…OR TRAINING TO BE IN THE CIRCUS…SHARE YOUR STORY/STRUGGLE/WORK ETHIC NOW!

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE HEADLINES ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE POSITIVE AGAIN!

– EVERY WEEK ON OWT –

GET IN TOUCH:

shelbyloreane@gmail.com

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Young’un of the Week – Lucie Bevan: Teen Travel Photographer

23 Apr

It takes a lot of energy, self-belief and passion to start your own business aged 18, but that is exactly what my Young’un of the Week has achieved this year. Lucie Bevan from London Colney, Herts went to New York in Sixth Form and came back with big dreams and high hopes:

“It was my friends mum who actually got me into photography. At the time, she was studying in a night time college course and seeing her go from not having a clue about the camera to running her own business now, it has given me faith that someday I could do this too.

I started photography in 6th form, which is when I went to New York. I met some amazing people during this time who allowed me to improve my images without being too harsh.

Since receiving an offer for a small job abroad taking images of people’s villas for their website in Spain, I knew I wanted to travel with this job, too.”

Despite being so young, Lucie hasn’t allowed herself to become overwhelmed by the scale of her ambitions: Now she has her heart set on travel photography she is ready to work for it. She says:

“I would absolutely love to work for a travel company. Travelling the world, doing what I do best. I am a keen photographer who loves learning from other peoples work. I guess what’s stopping me is the fact that you need experience to gain experience; it’s really just a catch 22.”

Lucie adds:

“I do not believe in myself all the time. I find it difficult to think that I could actually do what I want to do. But since setting up a Facebook page for my photography and receiving compliments on my images from my family and friends really boosts me up on a bad day.

I try to keep myself busy with little jobs for friends and family, updating my portfolio each time I can. If I have spare time on an afternoon, I will go on an adventure of sorts to seek out great photo opportunities.

You have to have the experience to gain the experience. That’s the most difficult challenge. I have found it difficult applying for jobs that I could really see myself in because of the fact I have no experience. Also, to gain the experience, it is usually assumed to work for free at the beginning in the hopes of a permanent job, but I, like many other young people, cannot afford to do so.”

Facing the same economic struggles as the rest of us, Lucie remains defiant on her work ethic: Not only does she continue to work as a Customer Assistant outside of her photography, her mind set is ahead of her years as she sticks to the business budget. Lucie explains:

“At the present moment, I have a part time job which allows me to pay off the money for the equipment I need. I have always believed in the fact it’s not how much money you spend on the equipment that makes your images amazing but it’s the photographer’s eye.”

So as her website has launched and her strenuous promotion continues, what’s next for the teen travel photographer?

“Basically, I have really high ambitions. Although I am not really sure where exactly I want to be in life, I know that I want to travel the world taking pictures. I have always loved travelling, and since being to New York, I realised that my dreams are possible – no matter how cheesy that may sound. I am considering working for a travel agency taking images of landscape and holiday places for them to advertise. I think this will be a great career path and could take me to some amazing places around the world.”

Photography is a very popular hobby and career choice amongst young people and, as you can hear from Lucie’s accounts, the competition is rife! What advice can she give for other budding artists out there?!

“If you take a series of images for each genre of photography, you will be able to see for yourself which one you prefer. Email different photographers asking them to view your work and give feedback. Constructive criticism is better than them keeping quiet if they don’t like it. So I would say, get your name out there. Make a Flickr page or something similar so people can view your work and leave comments.

Keep at it. It’s simple. The more you persist, the more you will achieve. It’s not about the fancy equipment or the people you know, it’s about your belief in yourself. Everyone has different opinions of a photograph; some say it can be amazing, while others may find it a bit dull, but if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.”

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Visit Lucie:

Flickr: Lucie Bevan

Preview & Bookings for Lucie’s Work:

Lucie Bevan Photography – Official

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If you are thinking about joining the same career path and hope to be the next world-famous picture-taker, here are some handy links to get you started:

Photography for Beginners

Photography Community

London Photography Courses

Photography Tutorials

Photo Contests

And as always if you have an inspiring story to share or want your ambition to be recognised then get in contact! OWT features someone every single week to silence the negative media coverage of us young’uns! We are NOT lazy and we are NOT dumb…HELP ME PROVE THEM WRONG!!

Tweet Me: @sheldan2207

or

Comment below!

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Young’un of the Week – Rachel Argyle

15 Apr

Being a freelance writer can be a lonely little job. You can fall into a place where you’re not sure if anything will come of your valiant voluntary efforts – but then all of a sudden you will have a sudden wave of success resulting in lifted spirits and mental motivation. This week’s Young’un of the Week is Rachel Argyle: A freelance writer and new business owner and her interview was a personal fave of mine due to the fact that I, too, am in the same field with some of the same goals.

rache argyle photo

Reading through Rachel’s interview answers not only inspired me as a writer but also as an ambitious person in general: It’s possibly the perfect story – qualifying from uni, working as a reporter, going into management then ending up freelance. Until she gets to the part where she is has decided to take the plunge and launch her own online magazine – or e-zine.

“I graduated from Cardiff Uni with a BA Hons in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting and worked as a newspaper reporter for three years, before managing communications for a local Hospice for over two years. Last year, I decided to take the (risky) step of going freelance with my writing and marketing work: Contracts include marketing for a Sports Development Unit, social media for a sports events company, etc. It’s been going pretty well.
It has always been an ambition of mine to start a magazine, but I’ve never had the start-up funds available to do so. But this year, I thought I’d go ahead regardless, and Delilah Magazine was born!”

Throwing all caution to the wind, Rachel decided to go for broke:

“I’ve always been ambitious but starting my own magazine was the dream. The main challenge is the financing. I have always been a bad saver and I’ll never have thousands behind me to set up a publishing business. So the biggest hurdles to overcome have been how to make the magazine a reality, without having to put down any money up-front. Thanks to social media, there are now ways to do this and  build support slowly and although producing a free e-zine for the first edition isn’t exactly what I had in mind initially and isn’t the most conventional of routes, it seems to be the best way forward. So many illustrators and writers have agreed to write for free (for a credit in the mag) and that’s helped me progress with the idea. Having a Twitter and Facebook account helped drum up support. I wish I had more time to dedicate to the magazine and that one day it will be my main job, but for now it’s about squeezing in tiny moments of ‘Delilah’ whenever I can.”

A lot of young people often read these sorts of stories and think that to achieve something on this scale is simply impossible. Although you have to get used to rejection and constructive criticism in many careers, it is easy to feel despondent and hopeless at times (literally talking from my own experience over the last two years!) – so how does Rachel stay so focussed? What keeps her strategy positive and on track? She explained:

“I’m a naturally positive person. I dream big. Once I have my mind set on something, I strive to make it happen. Don’t get me wrong, I hit some brick walls along the way, but I take some time out, do some exercise, have a nice cuppa and a chat and get back on track. I talk a lot and I find it pretty easy to unwind. My hobby is women’s football and that’s quite a good stress relief! I have a really supportive network of friends, family and a great husband who keep me sane. As for focus, sometimes my brain (and house) is a bit cluttered: I write ‘to do’ lists galore and have a very untidy desk, but despite all this my focus comes from within, I’m determined to see things through to the end. I think if you almost visualise your dream as a reality, it keeps you positive and focused. I actually imagine Delilah being a huge success and then work out how to get to that point.”

There must be certain things that de-motivate her, or really put a spanner in the works – just the same as in every career move. I asked Rachel how she keeps it all together?

“Sometimes when I’m having a busy day and have lots on my mind, it’s really unhelpful to have a desk, house and garden that needs de-cluttering – they make for really good excuses of why I can’t be as productive as I should be. At those moments, I hit what I call my ‘freak out’ moments. This is when my mind gets so full, that I actually end up doing nothing productive. I then stop, remove myself from whatever I’m doing, go for a walk with the dogs (my two Jack Russell puppies Bonnie and Clyde), de-clutter a little, stop making excuses and press the re-start button.”

My own personal blockade is the lack of money and I know from talking from other young people setting up businesses and careers that they have the same issue, too. Rachel tells me how she funds her dream:

“Money burns a hole in my pocket, I’m a terrible saver. I have champagne desires on a lemonade budget. My magazine dream currently has no financial funding. My freelance business pays the mortgage and bills and my spare time is taken up planning and writing Delilah, so I don’t need funds for a social life at the moment!”

Summary: If you’re serious enough about your dreams you don’t need money for anything else! *Quote of the Week*!

Before we launch into ‘Delilah’ and what the magazine is about I asked Rachel what her advice would be for those looking to climb the same ladder as herself. She said:

Stop sitting back and thinking about your dream job but telling yourself the reasons that it can’t become a reality. Look at things differently and find ways around it. Nothing works out exactly the way you might think it should, but that’s what makes the journey all the more interesting! Work hard, play hard and you’ll get rewarded.

I wrote for the university newspaper and temped for Bauer Publishing in London for a few months after graduating, before I landed my first job as a newspaper reporter for Trinity Mirror North Wales. I’ve always been career-driven, so I’ve done a lot of blogging and writing with experience in mind. I always know what I want and there’s very little anyone can say or do to make me change my mind. This was the case upon going freelance last year.”

So, with the launch of Rachel’s magazine TONIGHT let’s have a listen of what we can expect:

delilah banner

“The first edition, out today, will be an e-zine, completely free of charge, to distribute as widely as possible. The hope is then to get some momentum going and have it printed as a quarterly, paid for publication. It is aimed at women aged 18-35 and all about inspiring people, places and pretty things, very positive and feel-good. I’ve absolutely loved the creative process and working with so many talented people and am giddy with excitement for the launch!”

I hope all my readers will get together and help make Rachel’s dream a reality buy CLICKING HERE – visit her website to receive the first edition for FREE!

delilah issue one banner

[Click the image to get Issue 1]

As always here are some helpful links for those of you interested in the Writing/Journalism career:

London School of Journalism (Distance Learning)

The Word Cloud – Writing Community

BBC Writers Room

And as always if you feel like you would like some recognition for the hard work that you’re putting into your business or career then get in touch! I feature an inspiring young person every single week on ‘Obsessed With Them’ to broadcast to the world that we are not all hood-rats or scallywags! Get involved – Tweet me @sheldan2207 or comment below!

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Young’uns of the Week – Sister Act: Abbie & Ellis Sontag

8 Apr

As you are probably getting to know by now, here on Obsessed With Them I am featuring inspiring young people every single week. Last week Kane Surry gave us a little insight to the working life of an aspiring actor and the week before Katie Valentine shared her struggles of juggling children, studies, volunteer work and big ambitions! Nothing brings us kids down, though, and this week we have twin-spiration from Abbie and Ellis Sontag. They’re not actually twins but it sounded good…here’s their stories:

Name: Abbie Sontag                                                              Name: Ellis Sontag
Age: 23                                                                                      Age: 20
Location: Harlow, Essex                                                       Location: Harlow, too!
Current Job: Travel Agent                                                   Current Job: Waitress

Dream Job: I’m working my dream job: Travel agent!  Dream Job: Hairdresser

abbi and ellis

Abbie:

Growing up I was raised by my extremely hard working single mum. She always worked and taught us from a young age things don’t just get handed to you, you need to work really hard for them. At 16 when I left school I didn’t want to continue in education and wanted to get out there and gain experience & earn some money. I had loved the idea of a job in the travel industry and set about applying. I was lucky enough to get a job in Thomson and even though it was a low salary I thought it was the experience I needed. It confirmed what I thought anyway – that I wanted a long and successful career within Travel. I was made redundant a year after being there and in the years to follow I had to travel to Hertford, Barnet & Basildon (from Harlow) just to remain in the industry. Jobs are few and far between and I was just grateful to have one. It was tough though, my salary was still low and travel costs were making money tight. It was January 2011 when a friend told me about a job vacancy in Old Street, London. I was nervous as I’d never considered working in the city before but my family told me just to go for it. I got offered the job and loved being a city girl from the start. I am so lucky my job has allowed me to travel so much: I had never even been on a plane until I was 14 but since then I have been to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Caribbean, Dubai & lots of America. I love every second. In the last year it has been my main focus to save hard & save enough for a deposit on a house. I have finally done it!! It feels amazing to have saved every penny myself especially because my family aren’t in a position to help me as much as they’d love too. When I was younger I thought this kind of travelling and to own my own house were practically impossible for someone like me. But I always was very ambitious and wanted to work hard to make things happen. I’m so glad it’s finally all paying off 🙂

Ellis:

 After leaving school I wasn’t interested in furthering my education and drifted from job to job. Then at 16, I discovered I was pregnant and 3 months into my pregnancy I lost my job! I then struggled through whilst being pregnant and knew this wasn’t how I wanted to live once I had my daughter. So as soon as she was born I started applying for jobs then the opportunity came up for me to work in a coffee shop; I jumped at the opportunity as it was flexible hours around my daughter and a regular wage. At first I was just happy to be back at work and providing for my daughter but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. I had always been interested in hair so that’s when I decided to go to college and study hairdressing. It was a hard decision as it meant me working 3 days and doing college 3 days as well as a lot of homework in the evenings while looking after my daughter but it’s all been worth it as I’ve recently qualified as a hairdresser! I now want to take it even further by going back and studying my level 3 next year! After being a pregnant 16 year old I never thought I’d accomplish what I have! I passed my driving test, bought a car, I have a job and am now a qualified hairdresser. I am also now able to save money for mine and (my daughter) Ruby’s future and hope things will continue to get even better

Useful links:

Thomson & First Choice (TUI UK) Recruitment Opportunities

Volunteer Travel Holidays

Becoming a Hairdresser

Hairdressing Apprenticeships

Hairdressers Journal

You don’t have to be an aspiring rock star with superstar experience under your belt to feature as my Young’un of the Week! If you are working your arse off to get where you want to be in life then get in touch! We’re all in this together and the we rarely get media coverage when we do something right! Tweet me @sheldan2207 or comment below!

Young’un of the Week – Kane Surry

2 Apr

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“Everyone knows that it’s a cliché to say, “I’ve dreamed of being an actor since I was little” – but in my case it doesn’t stop it from being true. My name is Kane Surry and I’ve dreamed of being an actor since I was little, and I’ve worked extremely hard over the past decade to make that dream a reality.

The acting profession is notoriously tough; it’s a job that involves a bit of hope and a huge amount of rejection…not to mention the fact that it, like everywhere else, has suffered from the recession so the opportunities are less than ever.

This I know about acting and everyone knows it (although it’s never put me off) but made me more determined to succeed and carry on working. I’m actually amazed that I’ve got this far because I have a tendency to be flaky in nearly every other aspect of my life but when it comes to my professional acting career I’ve never stop aiming higher.

I was always a hyper child with a very big imagination but when I got to secondary school I was a bit lost because I was crap at football (which was like a crime at my school) and I was a pretty average student.

I wanted to stand out though, always have done, but didn’t really know how too.

I was bullied which knocked my confidence in my early secondary school days so it was only when I was around 16 years old that I found the confidence to do my first school play and I thought it was what I wanted to be known as – an actor!

I got the lead and I was playing a cocky intern at a teenage magazine who used the agony aunt section to meet girls and it really brought me out of my shell and got what I’d aimed for: I’d stood out as an actor at school.

When applying for drama school for the first time when I was 17 I really messed it up. I got way too cocky and applied to all the best schools, thinking I was Marlon Brando and not preparing properly but thinking I was going to breeze it. Did I breeze it? Did I shite!!

Nowhere took me on and rightly so, I hadn’t done enough, didn’t know enough and wasn’t humble enough.

That was a shock that I didn’t understand at first but then I had to re-evaluate and be honest with myself. I’d missed out that year and I was gutted but it was my own fault.

I spent my next two gap years trying to be a better actor; I doomed a one year course which was privately funded. I nearly didn’t go but am eternally grateful to the sacrifices that were made for me and afterwards I realised how much they went without just so that I could go. I wasn’t going to let them down so I got my head down and took in all I was taught.

I eventually got into drama school at the Central School of Speech and Drama – one of the best in the world. I couldn’t believe it when the letter came through and I just couldn’t wait to start.

One thing that shocked me in my time there was how middle class a profession acting is. I come from a working class background and a big family and thought that if you were talented the opportunities were for everyone but at Central there were often times that I felt slightly alienated because of my background and this made me lean towards pretending I was more middle class to fit in: Drama school is a bubble and it’s when you leave that you realise the diversity is there and you have to know and embrace every aspect of yourself because that is what you’re selling. I may not be wealthy (yet) and I don’t speak R.P. but there is a market there for me.

I have a lovely agent who works extremely hard for me but I always do what I can to see if I can get opportunities for myself. I apply to online ads even if the work isn’t paid; I go to press nights of big shows so that I can network and talk to casting directors and other actors, etc. I also keep myself up to date with what’s on the television and in theatres and keep up to date with who is casting what and where they are going next. It’s all progressive and can seem hopeless at times but so worth it when it comes through.

I’m determined more than anything to make my career work: Since leaving drama school in June I’ve been lucky enough to work on two Shakespeare plays, some co-operate work and I start a film next month but all the time I want to do more and I’m always aiming for bigger and better things.

I’m looking forward to the day I can say: “Eastenders? I was in that before I did that ITV drama but I only did the two series as I got ordered to do a great new play at The Royal Court.”

Big dreams but I want to make them happen.”

To get in touch with Kane you can tweet him @KaneSurry or comment below.

Every week on Obsessed With Them I feature a seriously inspiring young person working hard to reach for their dream job! From plumbers to librarians, teachers to actors I will be featuring everyone that wasn’t born with a silver spoon in their mouths! If you’re on your way up and want your time in the spotlight – or want to inspire others, or just want a slither of recognition then GET IN TOUCH!

We’re all in this together.

Relative Links:

“Breaking into Acting”

“The Acting Website”

“Free Online Acting School”

“Industry Tips”

“Amateur Dramatics Explained”

Young’un of the Week – Katie Valentine

25 Mar

Every Monday from now on will be a celebration of a so-called ‘dying breed’. The media have young people pinned to the lazy, unambitious and even dangerous stereotype, and quite frankly I do NOT agree. I know far too many inspiring young people that never get any recognition for the extremely long hours of hard work they put in every single day just to better themselves and get ahead in this impossible country. None of the people featured in this weekly post have been born with a Silver Spoon up their bums, nor have they been handed anything on a Golden Platter. These young’uns don’t want fame, not even fortunes. They know what they want and how they are going to get it.

Without further ado, meet Katie Valentine. Katie is 22 years old and lives in Manchester with her son, James, 3, and her dream goal is to be a Probation Officer: “My goal is to be a probation officer as I am passionate about the community and reducing crime. I think having a son myself (makes me) worry about the world he is growing up in!”

This hasn’t always been Katie’s plan, though. She says, “My passion for this didn’t come about until a few years ago when I had just turned 19, had my son and moved away from my home town due to my relationship breaking down. I decided that now I had a baby it wasn’t an excuse to sit around at home and do nothing, it was more of a reason to MAKE SURE that mine and my son’s future was going to be the best (it can be).”

Katie continues, “I decided to go back to college and then to do a degree at university, as I never actually went to Uni at the age your ‘supposed’ to. I hardly attended school in my most important year – Year 11. I just about passed my GCSEs. I would definitely try harder if I could turn back time. I (didn’t let this) impact my life too much; there are lots of good educational opportunities for adults – you just have to look hard enough to find them!”

With the UK in dire straits at the moment, young people are lacking important funding and opportunities from potential employers, yet Katie has defied these odds to get ahead. She explains, “I’m currently at college studying an Access to Higher Education diploma in Criminology, Psychology and English along with GCSE Maths. If I pass this diploma it will enable me to start university in September this year or next.”

“At first I wanted to do community and youth work. I looked into voluntary work I could do to support my university application and landed myself a role within the youth offending team. I absolutely loved it and decided it would be brilliant to work with adults too. After months of harassing the local adult probation team about any opportunities they finally got back to me with an interview. I smashed the interview, completed the training and am now a fully-fledged alcohol and substance misuse mentor!”

Through her own grit and determination Katie has not only gained work experience that just aids her next step, it has also given her the self-confidence to go further: “The love I have for my voluntary work made me more determined to do an even more challenging degree so I have set my sights on Criminology and Law LLB. I’ve been accepted into four out of five universities and I am just waiting to hear back on the fifth. After this degree I hope to be able to work within the criminal justice system as a probation officer.”

Are things as hunky dory as they appear? For those of you reading wondering how anyone has the time or money to pursue such commitments, pay attention! Katie shares her tips for battling through; “The main challenge for this is time management; I have to plan my days down to the last minute! Even with the help of my partner it is still hard juggling voluntary work, college, assignments, running a home and being a mummy. Somehow I do it! My assignments are always handed in on time, my house is clean and tidy and James has everything he needs – including quality time with me. I make sure I am organised – my Filofax is my best friend!”

“At the moment I get child tax credit and child benefit, my mum helps me when she can if I need some extra money although I hate asking and I hardly ever do. My partner is also amazing and supports me in every way; he works and is actually going to university too this September! When I start Uni I will have my student loan to keep me going and after that I really hope to have work. The charities I volunteer for pay my expenses like travel costs, petrol etc. It’s hard but I would rather do it the hard way than just claim job seekers allowance!”

She adds, “I do get very tired, sometimes I just have to give in and have an early night. I wanted to book in to get my nails done the other day and realised I actually have no time to do this! I think I spend more time helping other people than doing things for myself but then I thought to myself, ‘Do material things like getting my nails done really matter?’ I would definitely rather be spending time with my clients, helping them achieve their road to recovery; I cant explain how much satisfaction I get out of my work.”

Other than adopting a steely work ethic, having the self-belief that you WILL achieve and being organised, what other advice would Katie give to other young people looking to get into the Criminal Justice industry?

“Do your research very well; if you know what career you want in the future then contact people that are already working in these roles, ask them how they achieved their goals and then if there is a way you could do the same then look into that. There are plenty of courses at local colleges and universities that are specifically for adults too. You can usually get bursaries to help with financial costs (for books, equipment, etc.) and my college even pays for my childcare – as long as I keep my attendance above 90%. It’s definitely worth looking into, where there is a will there is a way! I believe everyone has it in them to achieve their dreams.”

Finally, Katie adds, “Although I am still quite far away from my dream, I am closer than I have ever been and I am so excited about my future – I just want to make my son proud. I never, ever want him to go without anything and I want him to follow in my footsteps and work hard for the nice things in life.”

Katie Valentine PHOTO

 

Helpful Links

What would working in Criminology involve?

Volunteer Work in Your Area

Where Can I Work After Graduating in Criminology?

What Courses Are Available To Me?

To get in touch or if you want to feature as ‘Young’un of the Week’ then comment below or Tweet me @sheldan2207

 

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