I enjoyed my time in school but I found college difficult. I started college studying animal care - I love animals - but I found it hard because the course was five days a week and I had to travel an hour to college and an hour back every day. After a while I just couldn’t keep it up so I switched to another course which was over four days instead, but the tutor was always really rude to me, so I left.

I felt a bit deflated by the whole experience because it was a big thing for me to go into college. At one point in my life I was classed as a bit of a troublemaker, but from Year 9 of high school I really picked myself up and got my head down.

My Social Worker told me about Step Into Education and how it might be more suited to me because the classes are smaller and I can learn a variety of things that will help me in different parts of my life.

Laura is my tutor and she’s really nice. When I first went into Centre to meet her she made me feel welcome and at ease. We talked about everything, including some of the things that have happened to me in the past and why I used to live in foster care. I’ve told her about my mental health and how it wasn’t the best. Laura’s not just a teacher, she’s someone you can talk to about anything.

The lessons in Step Into Education are different to school and college. They teach you different things you need to know to live your life properly. I’ve done workshops on things like how much waste Wales produces. It opens your eyes to how much waste you make and teaches you about recycling, like what goes in the black bin and what doesn’t. Another workshop taught me about human rights and equality, which was really interesting because now I’m studying childcare.

When I first joined Laura’s class I completed a Digital Literacy course because I struggled with IT in school. I had to do things like find information online, open word documents and use spreadsheets to create tasks. It was helpful because I’ll probably need to use things like this for money management in the future. I felt more confident with IT after completing this.

I’ve since moved onto studying a tenancy Agored because I’m due to move into my own home soon. The course helps you understand things like what a tenancy agreement is and what rules you have to follow when living in your own home. I always wondered how you pay your bills in your own place but this teaches you all that and things like how to be a good neighbour.

Some classes are now back in Centre and some are still online because of the Coronavirus but I’m coping well. There’s usually around three or four of us learning together each day. We have a couple of hours learning then a little break and then come back together again. If I ever need any additional support I can always speak to Laura one to one or just stay on the Zoom call a little longer for support.

I don’t know what I want to do just yet. Childcare is an option but I still love animals, so who knows.