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At the beginning of the programme, Shorif (a Year 10 student from Handsworth in Birmingham) was very openly reluctant to take part in Envision, admitting that he was extremely nervous about public speaking and didn’t usually get involved during his lessons due to anxiety.

Shifting perceptions

Shorif was openly very reluctant to take part in Envision; he was extremely nervous about public speaking.

Despite this, he decided to try it anyway, which gave us an early glimpse of the can-do attitude he continued to display across the 12 weeks! By the end of his first session with his Envision Programme Coordinator in a team of 11 other classmates, Shorif realized that the sessions were a relaxed environment where he could try out speaking to some of his peers and sharing his ideas, and he left the room with a huge smile on his face.

Channeling passion

Shorif’s team chose to raise awareness for homelessness by supporting St Basils, a charity working with young people aged 16-25 across the Midlands in order to prevent young people from ending up on the street. Upon choosing this charity, Shorif shared that he had one very clear and simple goal for himself; he wanted to just get involved as much as possible to raise awareness for this issue. As he collaborated with his team more, he felt safe around them and therefore his communication skills developed.

His Envision Programme Coordinator and his mentors from Wesleyan (a financial advice company in Birmingham) played a huge part in encouraging him to develop his communication by involving him in team discussions and asking him questions directly. Whilst he felt this was challenging at first, he expressed that he was very appreciative of being pushed out of his comfort zone, as he knew they wanted the best for him.

Shorif’s moment

Shorif viewed the final event of the programme as an opportunity to show off how much he had grown in all four of the key skills across the programme. Standing proudly with his team in front of an audience of over 100 people, he spoke confidently about the importance of St Basils and the issue of youth homelessness. He was an integral part of the team and a huge reason why they ultimately won the Envision crown!

Reflecting on the programme, Shorif was proud of his journey and excited to be able to put Envision on his CV. When asked if he had any advice for other young people considering taking part in the future, he simply said to just try it… because why not?

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