Yasser Kalombo, City Year Greater Manchester
“At school I was a ‘cheeky chappy’ with lots of potential but I got into the wrong crowd. School didn’t have high expectations of me. My teachers predicted I’d get two GCSEs above a C grade but I proved them wrong and got five; enough so that I could do A Levels.
“I was already bucking the trend among my peers and friends and I realised that I was capable of achieving something with my life. I decided to go on to University but when I graduated, it felt wrong for me to go into a job where I couldn’t have an impact on the lives of young people growing up in a similar situation to me. I wanted to find something that would let me inspire young people who don’t believe in themselves. When I found City Year, I realised that I could be that role model I needed at school.
“Since joining, I have seen that the corporate world and campaigning for social justice don’t have to be separate. I have ambitions to get into corporate social responsibility and reach those communities that need it the most.
“I am excited for the year ahead and I love being a role model in school. I just want that difference I’m making to reach further and further across the UK. I can see that, together with all the other volunteers who’ve joined City Year in Greater Manchester, Birmingham and London, as a movement, we have the potential to do that.”