Jordan and the positive impact of education

Jordan had been out of education for a few years after leaving school.  He had a Functional Skills Level 2 in maths (which is equal to a GCSE grade 4 or a C on the old grading system).  After a while he was put in touch with Barnardo’s by his PA* and he took part in Barnardo’s and Plymouth City Council’s pioneering Alpha Design Lab as one of the young people with a lived experience of a care journey.  When LifeLabs launched, Jordan stepped out of his comfort zone and spoke at the launch event.

Education and opportunities

When Jordan agreed to take part in the Alpha Design Lab he stepped outside of his comfort zone and challenged himself.  It’s not easy to do this.  That’s why it’s called your comfort zone.  What you know is comfortable, and trying new things or exposing yourself to new experiences can be uncomfortable at first.  It can open doors for you though.  You had to try everything once and you might find that you are really good at something or that you actually enjoy it a lot.  One thing leads to another and education can be the first step towards something that is great for you.

Building confidence

Jordan now doing a full-time Level 2 Wood Occupations course learning carpentry.  He’s excelling at his work and is getting good feedback from his tutor.  He’s taking care with his work and he’s a lot more confident.  Jordan still suffers with anxiety but he’s learned how to handle it a lot better.

“I still have my moments with anxiety attacks and dark days, as everybody does, but I’ve gotten a lot better and through college I’m able to move on to a better positive lifestyle.  Within the next two years I’ll have finished my level three and will work in a workforce, self employed or work alongside on a site, making money and feeling great.”

Where to get support

It’s ok to get help to find the right thing for you.  It might be education or it might be a training programme.  There are people who can help you to work out what your goals are and how to achieve them.  You can talk to your Personal Advisor, Barnardo’s, or any of the other agencies that you have contact with.  All of them want to help you to find the right thing for you.  

*Once a young person leaves care or when they turn 18 their local authority will assign them a personal advisor instead of a social worker.  If you’re a young person in care or a care leaver then you should know who your PA is and how to contact them.