I dropped out of school prior to my A-Levels, because I decided A-Levels and university weren’t the option for me. My biggest challenge was pursuing my dreams, as when you drop out of school, you don’t always get offered the support you need, and I had no clue what support was on offer in terms of apprenticeships.

I enjoyed school a lot, but I was tired of the constant exams and studying for numerous subjects I was barely interested in. I always had an idea that I wanted to get into the finance sector, and it seemed to be a bit of a waste that I had to study subjects that were not relevant.

City Gateway is so different to school; you’re not expected to be like sheep, listening to someone on a higher platform to you. All my coaches treated me like I was on the same level as them, and I know this aided my progression even more as I felt like I had someone to relate to that gave me mutual respect. At school I felt I was judged for little things like the way I dressed, how I dyed my hair, and I didn’t feel that way at City Gateway at all.

I was accepted for who I am, and not only was I supported through my apprenticeship, but also through external issues I had going on in my life. City Gateway taught me that life is too short not to take care of yourself and your needs, and I’m proud to say I am now a stronger person in all aspects.

‘City Gateway took away everything I disliked from school. If you want to be shown mutual respect, support, and progress through to your dream career, you’d be missing out not to give them a chance’

My apprenticeship has led me to yet another role, this time in a company I have always dreamt of working for. I’m currently thriving in a role I had only ever dreamed of landing at my age.

I feel as though City Gateway’s support was essential in order for me to progress not only professionally, but also mentally and emotionally. Things in and out of work are easier to deal with, and though my time with City Gateway has officially ended, I know I can always contact someone if I just want a chat or catch up.

City Gateway has shown me no matter your background, and whether or not you take the educational route people expect you to, you can thrive in an environment where you are constantly supported and inspired.