Jackie's Prison Volunteering

Name :Jacqueline Adedeji 

Course studied at NTU: Broadcast Journalism 

Year of Graduation : 2015 

Current job title: Production Office Assistant

Organisation name: Zig Zag Productions

 What volunteering were you involved in whilst a student at NTU?  Was it course related or to help with a particular career choice?

I was involved in a scheme called The Big Book Share that was based at Nottingham Prison, which involved connecting with prisoners, creating parcels filled with books for their children, talking to them on a personal basis and helping them focus on the future. It wasn't course related but.. I like to scare myself, I always think if you're not scared you're not really living, I aspire to be a television presenter. So I wanted to understand things and life from their point of view, not from the newspapers view or the victim's there's. I won't say it wasn't scary at times because it was, you are with people who you know have the mental capacity to kill you. But it taught me about how the other half live, you hear about prisoners but who knew they were so vulnerable? I don't condone anything they have done but I can understand why they have the mental capacity to hurt others in a way. Because they are hurting inside, hurt people hurt people after all. 

Has your volunteering helped your employability since graduating?  If so, in what way?

I think yes, especially working in a prison, people are really shocked, maybe because I'm female I don't know but people often thought I studied psychology to examine them or something, but when I said no, I study journalism people got really confused.
Personally, when I do interviews for jobs and talk about working in a prison I seem to instantly get the job. I think maybe because people don't expect a 21 year old to have done that, and because it isn't directly related to my career its obvious I'm doing it for a good cause. I have lots of stories about working in the prison as well, incidents that shouldn't really have happened (but did! oops..!) People are quite captivated by them, I guess people are really interested in me knowing I have done that.

 What advice would you give students when considering taking part in extra-curricular activities such as volunteering?

I would say, do something that can help the community that can teach you more about not just yourself, but others. I come from London so for me Nottingham is tiny, but I was intrigued into this little community how everybody is so tight knitted, I thought it was absolutely brilliant! I learnt so much about people, people make the world go round and truthfully you don't know who needs you - everyone needs someone. Do something that gives you the chance to change somebody's life for the better, do something that takes you out of your comfort zone that forces you to be stronger, because life is about growing you have to do things that are outside your norm to be successful. 

If you want to read more on Jackie's time with prison here's a link to her blog.

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