Posted 27th February 2020
What a journey these last three years have been! Starting off in first year I thought I had my whole life planned out – I thought I knew exactly where I was headed career wise and I also thought I knew myself pretty well. I was so wrong! This experience has enabled me to realise my potential, find who I really am as a person and I’ve learnt things I never would’ve imagined I would learn! I remember starting first year eager to meet new people but also anxious about how I would fit in and where this journey would take me. Three years on, I have gained the greatest support system and friends who have become family which I will cherish for a lifetime! It really is true what they say – you find your forever friends at university. Being provided with the bursary from The JVenn Foundation has not only helped me financially, but allowed me to go through university without worrying about being different from everyone else and helped me to focus on my university work so much more. When I started university, I realised that there wasn’t much support for care leavers, I found it really hard to see all my friends going home for the holidays, especially at Christmas. I got in contact with the course leader to discuss how we could change this for future students and discussed some suggestions that I had which I thought could change their experiences and help support their overall wellbeing. One of the suggestions was to have a Christmas dinner for the students who wouldn’t be going home, with crackers and games so that we could all get together and meet new people who were in the same boat. I felt as though this would help us feel like we’re not alone because that was my biggest struggle – feeling like it was only me that wasn’t going home. I am now an advocate for care leavers and students who are estranged from their families within my psychology course. I had to undertake 12-week advocacy training which has developed the core skills I needed in order to be the best I can be as a student advocate. I’m still figuring out exactly what I would like to do after university but I have started some work experience for the youth justice service as a panel board member to help rehabilitate young offenders. I came into university with the goal of helping people with my degree so having the opportunity to go into something like this has really opened my eyes on the criminal justice system and how I could make a difference. I’m currently in my third year and truly feel as though this experience would have been short-lived without the help of The JVenn Foundation – I cannot thank you enough!
Next step, GRADUATION!!
Anisha, a care leaver, found herself alone on her first Christmas at university - here she tells us how that stirred her into action....
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