“I got put forward for the young leaders programme by my care worker. I was still at school and the programme gave me the motivation and skills to empower me and made me realise I had potential. Our workers were amazing, our hub became like a family to us all however dysfunctional at times! We were given phenomenal chances and experiences which without the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust & BP we would never have had.
More so the Olympics was life changing all the people I met and encountered and being part of something so special and having athletes and workers around you who were there because they wanted to empower you and levelled with you not because they were paid to made all the difference. I regained my self confidence and felt like I had a purpose in life. “It’s not where your from it’s where you’re at” and ” It’s not what happened to you it’s what you do with it” were words I never believed in until completion of the programme.I was enabled to see myself and life from a different perspective and not stereotyped.
After the programme I secured a job as a community learning & development youth worker as I was influenced greatly and wanted to be able to give something back. I am starting university to study psychology and without the young leaders and my mentor helping me with my personal statement I wouldn’t be where I am now or be the person I am today and will always be eternally grateful for what they gave to me. A few of us were that inspired we are looking to continue the Olympic legacy into volunteering in Rio in order to give other disadvantaged young people the inspiration we had.
Embrace the opportunities given to you throughout the programme and the commonwealth as they will live with you forever, the memories the atmosphere, the people everything! You might not feel it now but it’s life changing & you will miss the games life but never let it fade; it will eternally be part of you. be proud of what you have accomplished and gained as it can be hard at times but so so worth it! You were there and you made something magical happen. It reiterated that anything is possible and despite where you come from or issues you gave faced, the world is your oyster and you can do anything you put your mind to! Good luck to all the young leaders and embrace everything while you are at the Games.”
Lauren, 23, from the 2012 Young Leaders Programme speaking about her experience