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Jamie Regan, City Year Greater Manchester, 2015-16

Volunteer mentor in uniform

Since the very day I began my year of service, I have been enthralled by the concept of the power of young people to change the world. City Year lit a fuse that began my passion for working in education and with charities.

The unique opportunities that City Year UK provided me with continue to set apart my life and career to this day.

Teaching classes of energetic school pupils daily? Presenting ideas of innovative change to my school’s leadership team? Vocalising campaigns of social change in my charity role? Daunting, but not as daunting as providing a speech to a room of hundreds of people and an American president.

Public speaking has always been a passion of mine. Having the moment to share sentiments that can change a person’s perception or even their life. It’s not an understatement to say that nowhere else in the world would have provided me with the opportunities to stretch my public speaking skills than City Year.

My City Year highlight – hosting the annual gala dinner – directly led to one of the proudest moments of my life so far. A young person whom I had coached and mentored in a job that City Year helped me to gain, standing on a podium enthused about social action and quoting word-for-word part of a speech I had given to my team. Not something that could have happened without the public speaking experience that City Year gave me.

City Year UK also helped me to focus and apply not only for a teacher training course, but also for charity summer work. After two short applications and endless support from City Year staff and my bridge builder mentor, I was training as a teacher and undertaking paid youth work for another charity.

Currently, I am working in my dream job as a teacher at William de Ferrers School, leading as City Year taught me best. Everyday day in, day out, I transfer my passion for service to the now hundreds of children and young people I teach.

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