Calvin attended a Futureversity summer course when he was 16, and the
following year became a Peer Motivator Team Leader. He has since joined
the cast of a well-known Channel 4 TV series.
‘On a six-week summer holiday, I don’t have much to do so I get
bored. When I get bored I get up to no good. It’s a vicious circle. So I
signed up to be a Team Leader so I could experience something new and
have more of a sense of purpose during the summer.
As part of my role, I had to telephone other students to confirm
their attendance on courses and this really helped me change my
attitude towards my own development. I also participated in TV
Presenting and Self Defence courses, which I loved. I was already doing
boxing and was into drama so I felt like these Futureversity courses
supported my passions.
At the start of the Peer Motivator training I found criticism really
hard – I’d always be on the defensive – but after a while I tried to
take a more laid back approach; I tried to see the positive out of it. I
think it made me more composed.
I met loads of people I wouldn’t normally meet, talked to people I
wouldn’t normally talk to. It made me more aware that there’s a whole
different world out there, outside my borough.’
Tammana, who lives in Redbridge, attended Futureversity summer
courses there before going on to become a Peer Motivator Team
Leader in Tower Hamlets when she was 17.
‘After doing various summer courses at Futureversity I decided to
volunteer as a Peer Motivator. During the training we did role play
exercises about conflict resolution which I was then able to put into
practice in personal situations. It made me see things in a better light
and since then I’ve been able to express my frustrations a lot better.
I was given the role of Team Leader, which was extremely beneficial
for me because I had to maintain good relationships with all the people
in my team, but at the same time encourage them to get the work done!
The whole experience changed me a lot. It made me feel important and
that I can make a difference and improve myself. My people and
leadership skills are better and I find it easier to ask others for help
and be patient in difficult situations or when people are rude.
There is real culture diversity on the courses too. It opens your
eyes and makes you more aware of other cultures. Futureversity is an
amazing organisation – it’s made so much difference to so many people.’