Age 18, London
When I was younger I didn’t really see the point of trying hard at school. I felt like I wouldn’t blend in with everybody else if I worked hard – it seemed like if you did work hard, you weren’t ‘cool’. But when I got to Year 11, everything changed.
Peer supporting made all the difference – I got along really well with the younger students. When I returned for Sixth Form, I became a peer mentor for Year 7. Supported by a local charity, I mentored across 3 schools and I was so humbled to be nominated for – and win – the award for Peer Supporter of the Year and a Jack Petchey Achievement Award.
Now I’m committed to making a difference for young people, particularly to improve their mental health. I did work experience with Citizens UK and witnessed a school launching a mental health charter with CAMHs and their local Commissioning Group. This year a team of 7 students from my school are hosting the first ever student-led peer Mental Health conference.
Another proud moment was co-chairing the 6,000 delegate assembly on housing with Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith. Recently I’ve also helped with the welcoming party for Syrian refugees hosted by Barnet Council, Citizens UK and my school, alongside translating for Syrian families.