Youth Centre Member

So summer is finally here and after the long gruesome exam season, all us teenagers want to ideally do is nothing, absolutely nothing. That’s fine for some, but for others a more productive approach is needed to make the most out of your oodles of free time to come. Essentially, you can sit around and watch Netflix all day or you can finally become that independent person you’ve always wanted to be and get a job.

The gap from June to September is a massive one and for a lot of people, it’s a money making opportunity. The search to find a job is a long and gruelling one indeed, but once it is obtained it can and will do wonders for your life. Having myself gotten a job two summers ago at the age of 16, I’ve matured a lot from it and the new found independence really is life changing. There are plenty of ways to go about it, you can obviously scroll through the multiple job sites filling in cover letter after letter or you can be slightly more pro-active and actually visit retail shops handing in your CV, you’d be surprised at the amount of jobs available yet not advertised. Remember to humble yourself, everyone has to start off from somewhere and having a job is far better than having no job at all.
Nonetheless, if you already have a job and the means then how can you make your summer productive? Well, that’s quite straight forward. Make the most of your time, create new memories and go out to explore the world. That dream vacation you’ve always wanted to go on? Go and do it. The road trip you wanted to take, go on and take it.

There are endless possibilities for all of us this summer, the last thing I want to hear is a person continuously moaning about how bored they are. Remember, only boring people get bored. We live in one of the biggest cities in the world, people pay thousands to come and visit yet we have the esteemed privilege of living in the capital so why not make the most of it? Become a tourist in your own city, go out and use that Oyster card to good use. Take that train to the very last stop, experience something outside of your comfort zone and you never just know what you may find.

A lot of people forget that summer is what they’ve been pining for and counting down to for months yet when it approaches them, they’re flabbergasted and have no idea what to do. This is your break, you’ve worked hard enough to enjoy it so before the hustle and bustle of studying looms brightly again in Autumn, take advantage of the beautiful weather and live life right. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re an artist, draw. If you’re a director, direct. The possibilities truly are endless, this is a time to work on your craft, enhance your skills, seek employment and above most, create memories to treasure for decades to come. - Safraz Ali

Young Leader

Having graduated 3 to 4 years ago, I can confidently say I still remember the workshops that were held every Wednesday at our local library. The young leaders programme was definitely a unique one, and has taught me lessons about leadership I still practice today. After graduation, many of us wanted to keep in contact with the programme and luckily we have been given avenues to help and take part with them even after our time had run out.

Helping host external events such as the fun run which raised money for charity, going to the youth centre to speak to the newer participants in the programme, and simply coming up to visit to catch up and socialise with one another.

I was lucky, as I was one of the four young leaders in our programme to go on an exchange programme to America for two weeks. It was an unforgettable trip, again with many lessons on leadership and being an agent for social change. I came home with brighter eyes and with a better understanding of how I can make a change in my local community.

I personally have happily stepped in and assisted events held by the young leaders programme for their new participants, and even got to speak briefly at one of their graduation ceremonies. It is always nice going back; there is an unquestionable underlying family feel. Regardless if you graduated 4 years ago, or last year, when you go back you feel as if you’re visiting family. And that is one of the many things I love about the young leaders programme.

Looking back at my years- post graduation, I can see the way the lessons I have been taught have helped shape me into the person I am today. I see the improvement in my confidence, in my public speaking, in my strategy to lead and guide others, though I still have a long way to go! And I have the young leaders programme to thank for the development in said areas. - Olawumi Ademokun