Connor Stevenson, Apprentice Youth Worker at Raise the Youth Foundation, has been Highly Commended by both the Association of Colleges and the National Apprenticeship Service.
Connor, who completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Teaching & Learning Specialist Support for Schools, was nominated for AoC Student of the Year and the National Apprenticeship Awards after being identified by Bolton College as an exceptional apprentice.
Connor’s work with Raise has included working with vulnerable young people (including gang members, ex-offenders, substance abusers and looked-after children) to enable them to make positive changes to their lives. After being referred to Raise the Youth as a service user, Connor volunteered at the organisation for over two years and was then given the opportunity to complete an Apprenticeship.
If a learner is proving difficult to motivate, he engages them through music, which then focuses them to work on their functional skills. It also provides them with a platform on which to express themselves in a healthy way.
Further to his work with the young people in the music studio, Connor has also worked to encourage amateur musicians to showcase their talent and work towards becoming professional by recording their own material.
Connor said: “I used to get into trouble with the police but this Apprenticeship has given my life stability, so to get national recognition from the Association of Colleges and the National Apprenticeship Service is just amazing. This whole experience has helped me realise my goal: to help young people channel their emotions through music. I’d love to be a Music Teacher one day.”
Reece Buckley joined Raise as a Wellbeing Mentor, following his time spent with Raise as a Learner, gaining valuable qualifications and training. It is this background that has helped Reece to build a great understanding of the challenges and issues that our young people face, along with their motivations.
Reece is creative, especially in the area of design and supports many of the activities at Raise. He is also part of the important Transport Team, ensuring young people are carefully managed to and from Raise. Our interventions with our young people start during transport and this helps them to deal with any matters that are concerning them, so that they are better prepared for their day at School.
Reece says: “Raise has helped me with my education and wellbeing and now, as a proud member of the team at Raise myself, I do my very best to ensure the best education and wellbeing for the young people in our school. My own people skills also help me to create relationships with people quite easily. I also try to make the best out of every situation and keep on pushing myself and other people to the maximum potential that I know can be reached.