I still remember the moment that changed my life. I was at school and my teacher picked out five students – one of them was me – as people who should go to uni. To put this in perspective, my school’s success rate was how many people got jobs once they left at sixteen, so this was a big deal.
At first, I was embarrassed that I got picked, but the fact that someone believed in me was enough to give me a burst of energy and motivation. I read prospectuses and filled out the university application form. To support me, my dad gave me a fiver so I could send off the application – a lot of money at the time for a poor family like mine. Without the kindness and belief of someone more experienced than me, I would never have had the confidence to go to uni. It was this experience that enabled me to see the value of having a trusted adult who believes in you in your life when you're young and the importance of the work that UK Youth does.