I wanted to help make a difference for those who’s position I was in not so long ago and show them that there are opportunities for everyone out there.
Hi, I’m James Chapman and I am going into my final year as a Law student at NTU. I have also just finished my first year as an Outreach Ambassador (OA).
Why did you become an Outreach Ambassador?
I first heard about the job through working on another CenSCE scheme and once I was told about the job specification, I was instantly intrigued. Growing up, I lived in an area of Leicester that experienced low attainment. My school consistently scored low in Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) and those who took their GCSE’s didn’t often come out with the best results. I always said that more support was needed to help those of us who had potential, but had no one to aspire to. That is why I took on this job. I wanted to help make a difference for those who’s position I was in not so long ago and to show them that there are opportunities for everyone out there.
On my first day I was nervous, however, I was excited to embark on a new adventure. I remember walking into one of the events and having 25 Year 8 faces staring up at me. One of my fellow ambassadors reassured me that I would be fine, and she was right. I have always enjoyed public speaking, but this was a different experience.
What have you learn on the role?
One thing I’ve definitely taken away from the role is a clearer understanding and new appreciation of the various cultures. My fellow OA’s are all brilliantly unique and we all bring different things to the table. Over the year, I have developed my personal and professional skills, such as communication and confidence. I now feel confident approaching new people of all ages. Similarly, my organisational skills have improved, and the job really does require you to have an initiative – something which I didn’t have much of before acquiring this role. I have also matured a great deal as an Outreach Ambassador which reflects in how I present myself to my peers. One thing that I do to show off my levels of maturity is being able to maintain a balance between ‘mingling’ with the students whilst maintaining a professional attitude.
Some elements of the role are quite challenging. I commute from Leicester which involves early starts. We also work with young people who come from a plethora of different backgrounds so adapting to their needs can sometimes be a challenge, but there is nothing more satisfying than successfully doing so.
What was your best experience?
One personal highlight was when I worked with a child who had a disability. He started the day as a quiet and timid young person, and I found it challenging to make the activities seem appealing to him. However, by the end of the day, we were talking about his favourite topic (Fortnite game of course!) and his teacher even approached me to thank me for my time. I have never smiled more after finishing a shift in all my five years of working.
I love my role as an Outreach Ambassador and anyone who loves to meet amazing people, try new things, face new challenges and grow as a person would certainly be suitable for this job role.
INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING DISADVANTAGED PUPILS IN LOCAL SCHOOLS?
You can register your interest here and we will notify you when applications are open in 2021/2022.
To find out more about the variety of ways you can get involved in our schemes, visiting our page here.