Creating a Positive Change for young people to #AimHigh
Christina Bailey-Cassell is 24 and lives in Newington Green, Islington and has just recently finished volunteering for a year with City Year UK.
She chose City Year because she saw their slogan, “Be the change you wish to see in the world – Ghandi” and felt immediately inspired by the ethos they had with wanting young people to be role models and mentors for young people in this generation.
Christina’s passion for youth development, to influence and help to create a positive change in the lives of young people, is what inspired her to volunteer. She made the time because of her desire for as many children as possible to have that person, that role model, whom they could go to for encouragement, support and guidance; someone who they could relate to and who genuinely cares about their personal and academic development and achievement, enabling them to become the best version of themselves. She’s also was keen on the leadership training programme City Year had for their volunteers, which aimed at developing their own personal and professional development; increasing the skills and qualities she has, so that her effect in enabling others to achieve their best was increased.
Serving with City Year was a full-time role, Christina found to be quite a big sacrifice. However the skills she gained and developed such as; courage, perseverance, resilience, commitment, leadership, teamwork, self-confidence and encouragement, she feels were totally worth it. Christina feels the students she worked with on a day-to-day basis were the main source of her motivation to keep going through the year.
Seeing their progression in even the littlest things like; positive behaviour improvements and developing a ‘growth mindset’ whereby they began to see themselves more positively and see their capabilities and aim for achievement, was her inspiration to continue to be that support.
There was one student in particular who at the beginning of the year had a lot of behavioural issues and his learning was suffering as a consequence; towards the end of the year, having built up a rapport with him, he trusted Christina enough to take on board her encouragement and guidance and she began to see a huge change in his attitude in general, his behaviour and then his learning. That, for her, was building a bridge of hope towards a more positive future which is what she had set out to do at the start of the year.