Apprentice Blogs 2021: Fefe
My name is Felicity Orji, I’d like to think my journey in life has been interesting! I completed all my years of school and then, in sixth form, I started to think about my future and what I really wanted to do. I was very troubled in school, and misbehaved all the time, and had a bad attitude, but as I got older I changed my ways and got all my qualifications and passed everything I needed to pass.
How did you come to be a Salmon apprentice?
I studied in University for 2/3 years studying business management. But I knew that it wasn’t something I was really into, and that I only really chose it because it was an easy choice given that I studied it in sixth form. While completing my last exams in university I decided to look into youth work, child care and social work as I found them to be more in line with my passions, and that’s when I applied for the Salmon apprenticeship which I started last October. I already knew loads about the centre due the fact I had met the majority of the staff and because I used to do my drama performances at Salmon.
How was being an apprentice through lockdown?
Lockdown has been a hard time for everyone. For myself personally I found the first few weeks alright, I got more rest, more sleep and spent more time with my family and friends. But after those weeks went by I started to hate how much free time I had, and would often look for things to do every day as most of my days looked the same. One of the main things I found difficult was having no access to the gym. Last year I started taking my health and fitness very seriously and it became less of a tiring activity and more of a fun passion. I was used to going gym every day and completing all my daily goals. So when the gym was closed in lockdown I wasn’t happy that I wasn’t able to work out the way I used to. But that didn’t stop me from exercising because I would go to the park and workout, as well as going for hour-long cycles.
How have you grown and developed over your time with Salmon so far?
I believe I have grown massively from when I first started till now. As the weeks went by I began to feel more confident and comfortable in my role. When I first started I was getting to grips with everything but I didn’t find it too difficult because I love working with young people & teens. I feel like the young people were trying to get to know me during the first stages of my apprenticeship but now everything is so different because they know me and communicate with me in a way which shows they’re comfortable with me. They tend to come to me for conversations and advice which I like because I feel like I can relate to them in a personal way.
What have you enjoyed most about your time with us?
There have been a number of things that I have enjoyed while working at Salmon. Firstly, seeing how much the young people have grown from when we started. It seemed like they had different mind sets and goals and it was nice to be involved with watching that journey for them. It’s been nice to get to know each young person one on one and in a more personal way, because it allows me to feel closer to them and understand them more. Furthermore, I’ve been working in a very friendly and fun environment. The staff that I work with are filled with enthusiasm and offer great support; they help push me to my potential by allowing me to do things I haven’t tried before, and that is something I enjoy.
What do you hope to gain from the apprenticeship?
I’m hoping to carry the invaluable experience of working with young people forward with me into my future as I look to get involved in different child care sectors. I would love to work full-time in a youth centre but I know this requires a lot of patience and hard work. However, I love to feel productive and be kept on my toes so I feel like I would make for a very diligent worker. I would also want to do lots of one to one or smaller group sessions with young people from the community, where we could take the time to explore the different opportunities they have while in school or when they leave school. These spaces would also be a good place to provide education on any topics they may have questions about.
Finally I hope to still be involved with the Salmon Youth centre after my apprenticeship and do some volunteering. This will allow me to continue to grow in my experience and skills as well as allow me to stay engaged with the young people that I wouldn’t see as often.