My name is Kaitlen and I’m 15 years of age. I am one of the Core Ambassadors at The Youth Association (TYA). I have been asked to write a testimony for my time spent with this organisation. Even though there are many years still to come. So, let’s start at the very beginning, as that is a very good place to start…

I first met TYA walking home from school. At the time I was very actively involved at the Eastmoor Community Project, working with young people over the holidays. Originally, I thought they looked pretty shady but I took a leaflet and looked it up and it was actually authentic.

Before I started working with TYA, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after school or at college. I started to talk to one of the youth workers, Aimee, and we began to bond, not only on a professional level but a friendly and relaxed level too. Together we put in place a plan to do a community get together (which was going to take place in Easter). I learned new management skills that will help me in the future.

On the day of the event, I met youth workers, Jody and Nadine and they were both really supportive and taught me loads of icebreakers which I then used in my own project. I began to get involved in more projects such as spray painting at Stanley Royd park. After all my involvement, I became a Youth Association Ambassador; this was only a little piece of my TYA journey.

I was invited to an event at Birmingham for all ambassadors. Here, I met youth workers -Beka, Jessica and James and we went on a long minibus journey to Birmingham making a few stops in Leeds to pick up other young people, who I made friends with as the day went along.

After the event, Nadine brought me some good news. I was going to be sitting my GCSEs next year and move on to do Health and Social Care at college. Nadine said that they had just started a Youth Work course at Wakefield College. I knew then what I wanted to be due to all the youth workers at TYA.

The taster day came around and I tried the course out and instantly knew that was the course for me. I applied and waited for an interview. The 11th of December arrived, interview day, I went in feeling nervous and walked out with the biggest grin painted on my face… I got a place!

And I am now here waiting for September to start my next big adventure to Adult life!