City Year UK aims to support and encourage pupils from disadvantaged communities to succeed in school. However, not only do they help the children, they also guide us volunteer mentors. Through the training academy, we are equipped with skills, confidence and professional networks for our careers. City Year have enhanced and provided me with a range of invaluable skills that I have used throughout my year of service, but beyond that. The opportunities that I have been presented with have given me the tools that I can carry with me in both my personal and professional life.
Skills I have gained through volunteering full-time with City Year UK:
- Communication – required to constantly interact with pupils, teachers and the team.
- Public speaking – through presenting during training sessions and running clubs.
- Leadership – essential when conducting one-to-one sessions, running clubs, attending school trips etc. Leadership is a skill that is being built on each day through our year of service.
- Organisational – required whilst preparing for one-to-one sessions and for keeping track of the data of our focus children.
- Listening – listening to needs of the students in order to help them achieve their goals.
- Teamwork – an essential skill I have gained through working in a team everyday. We lend support and advice when required as well as motivating and lifting the spirits of one another. This skill is constantly being enhanced, as not only do we work together at school; we have also had to work together to present during training sessions.
During the early part of 2016 I was eagerly researching companies I wanted to do my placement year with. I was unsure of what exactly I wanted to do, however I knew, without a doubt, that during my year in industry I wanted to gain as much experience and as many skills as possible.
I have always lacked confidence but through City Year’s four core values; Spirit, Purpose, Discipline and Pride it has given me a boost and helped me to develop so that I do not miss opportunities I would have in the past. City Year have helped me to develop and boost my confidence through igniting the spirit within me, showing me that I have a purpose, and instilling discipline, filling me with the overwhelming feeling of pride in what I do.
I can safely say that City Year UK have allowed me to successfully fulfil the aspirations I had set out to complete in my placement year. It has not only been my year of service, but my year of development.