NEET young people are full of potential, but are often blocked from success through circumstances which are beyond their control. Add to this crippling self confidence issues and in many cases substance misuse and sometimes homelessness, and their plight could be seen as hopeless. However, quirky niche ventures like Really NEET College are changing the lives and futures of many of them.
Sophie Maxwell, Really NEET College’s founder, has channelled her past struggles into the creation of an oasis for young people in Sheffield who have found that the system of education was not working for them due to social problems, confidence issues and poverty.
Having overcome homelessness, years of abuse and an education cut short, she went on to graduate from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009. She wants her college to be a “safe haven for young people having a hard time. A place they can come and rebuild their lives and realise their dreams.” The college offers a safe place for people to learn, grow and gain qualifications in a positive, inspiring and community focused environment that often isn’t found in larger institutions.
The 37 week programme offers a uniquely entrepreneurial focus that allows young people to explore a range of talents and abilities, releasing creativity and having fun. The way Sophie’s past struggles have caused her to empathise with those going through similar situations, and played a huge part in the creation of a caring and compassionate community is extremely inspiring, and shows that NEET young people have something highly valuable and unique to offer the world.
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