I was a horrible and disruptive student at school, no one believed in me and no one gave me the support I needed in order to make the progress I needed. When I was diagnosed with dyslexia, even my mum did not want to know. She did not speak to me about school for 2 years after my diagnosis. I was 11 year old boy with a reading age of a 5 year old, I could not spell anything over 4 words in length and my organisation skills were, well missing in action. While not really understanding what dyslexia meant at the time, the diagnosis was a blessing. Not because there was a cure or because I was relieved to find out what was wrong with me. It was a blessing because of a stocky, smoky, tanned and strong woman.
As soon as my diagnosis was handed into school I was sent to a small room at the hidden at the top of a teaching block. I did not, nor did anyone of my friends, know it was even their. It was like some sort of secret room that only a few knew about. Within this dark, dingy room I found Miss Atter. You could smell the mix of smoke and mints as soon as you entered the door. With a gruff, " Ah Laurence, what you waiting for get in the room and sit down" I had met that one person who would have my back for the next 6 years, someone who believed in me.
Over the next 6 years this absolute legend scared the hell out of me, had verbal altercations with staff and put one member of the senior leadership team in his place. All because she believed I had a talent that the school and my parents had failed to cultivate. However, she also taught me how to behave, how to value myself, have a morale code and how to be a male. As I started teaching with hard to reach young people at a local FE college I noticed a lot of similarities between my own story and the stories of the young people I was teaching.
While I had eventually gained the support I needed, the young people I was working with had not. In fact the system had rejected them, placed them in PRU's or left them without an educational placement. While I had a settled home life, these young people had chaotic home lives. Full of danger, distraction and anger, these young people where constantly unsettled by their environment. Over the last 7 years, I have worked tirelessly to ensure that I am that one person who believes in them, who teaches them how to behave, and how to get what the need to build a better life for themselves.
Recently I have started to notice that I need to up skill and gain greater knowledge about cutting edge techniques that are being used to engage and rebuild these young people. I am going to utilise this money to up skill myself and build a youth coaching organisation that focuses on building leaders out of the excluded. Helping them to build a web of empowerment that will support the whole excluded, Children in Care and Home Schooled communities. I have been researching this for quite a while and I believe that undergoing training in the following therapeutic disciplines will help me have a massive impact on these communities. These interventions are:
- Emotion Coaching
These qualifications cost money, more money than I can afford, sadly. I am asking for £5,000 so that I can complete these qualifications over the next 12 to 24 months. While completing these qualifications I will also be establishing my Youth Coaching organisation. I will use both the qualifications and the organisation to deliver specific training to young people, parents and professionals to ensure we give 360 degree support to these young people who desperately need it. The organisation will also use 20% of it'profits to deliver free sessions to specific children within local authority care.