The definition of value is ‘the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something’. In the short time that I have been a student intern at Become, I have been privileged to see first-hand the extent of the value that the charity has on young people in care and care leavers, as well as my place to add value.
From seeing the innovative fundraising team creating a community in the middle of an isolating pandemic with Become Players, to seeing the Services team constantly striving to understand and advocate the lived experiences of young people within the care system. I’ve also seen the Services team benefit from moments of introspection, assessing their mindset and understanding the impact the demands of their role can have, thanks to recent training from the highest expertise in the field.
As a care leaver myself I have benefitted from Become’s services first-hand, in particular, their visionary website Propel. The website allowed me to make an informed choice regarding what University to attend because I had a comprehensive picture of the tailored support that The University of Liverpool offered after visiting the Propel website.
My experience of Propel made me excited to apply for a job within Become because it gave me a sense of value - a sense that I could pass on the baton and help other care leavers to have the proper opportunities to achieve their potential. My internship has so far consisted of asking further and higher education institutes to upload or update their information regarding support for care leavers. This work is so pivotal in whether care leavers decide to attend an institution. Every college and university that responds gives me more hope that the next generation of care leavers will have the best information to gain autonomy in their lives, which is often missing whilst they are in the care system (I speak from experience).
Moving forward throughout this internship, I am creating content aimed at providing top tips and advice for care leavers about to attend university so that they are educated and feel prepared for this significant life-changing transition in their lives. This is also really useful and something that I wish I had more exposure to prior to starting University. Especially because, like me, a lot of care leavers don’t know anyone that has attended university and are lacking in that first-hand experience which can make starting University even more daunting than it has to be.
I am excited to see more of the real value that the incredible team at Become has on young people experiencing that care system. I am excited to see the value that I can bring to the team and help to enable the aspirational care leavers that visit the Propel website.