Jamie Power from Lucan, Dublin, was unsure what to do in life after completing the Leaving Cert. Since joining a course with Ballyfermot National Learning Network (NLN), Jamie has boosted his confidence and believes he will secure a job and go on to college.
“Before coming to the National Learning Network (NLN) in Ballyfermot I was doing my final exams for the Leaving Certificate. I was feeling nervous and anxious about the exams. When I left school I was lacking in confidence because of my exam results. I knew I could do better because I did not study for it. I think this is because the exams were very stressful. I stopped hanging out with my old friends because of this.
I did not have any plans after finishing the Leaving Certificate and had a fear that I would have nothing to do. Also there was no jobs going, and this was a problem because I wanted to help provide for my family. I found out about NLN from my school guidance counsellor, who set up a meeting about coming to NLN.
The main reason I chose to come NLN was to improve my confidence. My guidance counsellor talked to me about the Access programme and I felt that it was a really good fit for me because the goal of Access is all about social inclusion. I knew that after finishing the Access program I had lots of options to progress to another course, which was reassuring. I also came to NLN so I had something to do and I did not want to be staying at home doing nothing.
I am doing the Vocational Skills Foundation course, it is a level 3 program that includes a lot of modules aimed at you getting ready for work. Some of the modules I have completed so far are word processing, computer literacy and career preparation. I am about to start a work placement in a crèche near the centre.
I have been on the course for about 7 months, and I like it because it is getting me prepared for my future career and life. I will get work experience in childcare which I want for a career and will be able to go and do further study, like a level 5 course, in a college.
I have boosted my confidence and have much higher self-esteem. I became the chairperson of the student committee, received a Gaisce Bronze award, have made loads of new friends during the course, and joined the football team.
I’m also now able to talk to people and share my opinions, whereas before I kept them to myself. I find it easier to talk to new people I have never met before. I can share my interests with people more openly and I am able to work well in teams now. When I left school I lost contact with my friends, even my very good friends that I knew from first year. Coming to NLN I have made a lot of new friends that I will continue to see after my course finishes.
My main next step is to get a job and get to college. I will do this by getting as much experience as possible and moving onto a level 5 or 6 course. I want to do all this so I can help provide support to my family, which is the most important thing in my life. I can definitely achieve this.”