Leaving secondary school with only four GCSEs, people used to laugh at me when I shared my ambitions of going to university. Five years later I’m delighted to be graduating with a first-class Honours degree.
Growing up, I didn’t perform well in an educational setting. In Year Nine, I suffered with depression which left me with a lack of confidence and a negative outlook on life. I found social interactions challenging and often didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house.
I knew something had to change so I started volunteering with Sport Leaders UK as a way of taking my mind off everything going on in the outside world. I didn’t realise until a year later that by helping others I was actually helping myself and through this I got better.
Studying a degree in Sports Leadership and Development meant I could continue to volunteer and make a difference to my community. Throughout the course, I worked hard and took every opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and it paid off.
I became an Ambassador for Sport Wales and Youth Sport Trust, a #IWillAmbassador for youth social action and have just joined the Step up to Serve Board as a Young Trustee.
I hope that I can show people that you can recover from depression and self doubt. If you have ever been laughed at, bullied or put down, don’t listen to it, only listen to yourself. Self belief is everything and one of the greatest feelings in life is doing what others say you can’t do!
I am extremely proud and honoured to be leaving the University of South Wales with a First Class Honours Degree in Sport Leadership and Development. I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect upon my journey and acknowledge everyone that has helped me reach my full potential.