My time in Youthreach showed me that I was capable of education and not to give up on the idea of going to college because at one point I was ready to forget it altogether. I soon realised with the encouragement of Youthreach staff that I was meant to do more with my life. My name is Katie and I completed the LCA in 2012,four weeks before my leaving certificate I left school and had given up on education. Going to Youthreach was suggested by my mum that I immediately turned it down. I hated the thought of going back into education for another two years however, I decided with a lot of convincing to just go for it, so I did.
I started then to focus on getting into college. The Youthreach programme gave me confidence, life skills and hope, but what it mainly gave me was time. Time to figure out what career I wanted and which colleges I would attend. The biggest pain in the neck was the practical achievement module in year 2, oh my god it was so annoying however, it was my practical achievement task that lead me to the career I pursued. I decided to cook a three course for my family with some practice lessons during school hours. I liked the freedom and creativity of it and I decided that I wanted to become a chef, so I did.
We began filling out application forms for colleges. I found a hotel and catering course in the W.C.F.E, in Waterford, I managed with a successful interview to gain a place on the course. Today I hold a level five Certificate in Hotel and Catering and a level six Higher Certificate in Culinary Arts which, I completed in the W.I.T. I am a qualified chef; I did what I set out to do. None of which would have been achieved without my LCA. From being in third level education and coming out the other side with a qualification I can only recommend to students in the Youthreach programme to try as hard as possible to achieve a good LCA because this really does lay the ground work for how your future will be carved out. In today’s society, from my various lecturers advice in college, having a qualification is key to a successful future.
Youthreach for me was an unexpectedly rewarding experience. In my seven years of secondary school education I can honestly say that Youthreach and doing the LCA was the best part of it. I told everyone, family and friends that I would get a college qualification and become someone with a career ahead of them, so I did.