Elvis Tinago, City Year Birmingham ElvisTinago

Whilst in my last year of A levels at City of Wolverhampton College, I began looking at different school leaver placements for my gap year. I decided to take a gap year because I wasn’t sure which subject to study at university. My tutors and career advisors insisted that I check on gap year placement websites and during that search I came across City Year UK. City Year is not something which was in line with what I wanted to study, but its mission to empower young people to be role models, help vulnerable children succeed in school and to be the change we wish to see in society appealed to me.

I decided to do a year of service one of the partner schools in Birmingham where about 40% of the pupils are on free school meals. Volunteering at this school has given me so much experience. My confidence, ability to explain my ideas, and project management skills have developed through setting up after school clubs. The experience is also preparing me for my life at university. The training and careers sessions run by City Year staff and external organisations offer a range of activities and opportunities in order to help prepare me for my plans after City Year. I was given a chance to meet one UCAS admissions specialist to advise me on my university application, and was also invited to the City Year UK 5th Birthday Party in London, allowing me to develop my networking and public speaking skills.