Reunited with Jack

Our Operations Manager, Chaz, recently sat down for a catch up with our former student, Jack.

What changed your attitude during your time at Footsteps?
I think it was the respect for the staff. You showed us the time we needed. In mainstream school they just say here is the paper and do what you want. But you were my tutor and you would sit next to me and show me how its done. We got that bond, and it made the day go a but quicker and a bit better. There was a bit more respect there. At the start I was quite challenging but over time I got a bit better with myself. I gained a relationship with yourself, Peter and all the other teachers.

What were your most memorable moments whilst at Footsteps?
My attitude and my anger were always an issue. I always liked to throw my weight around. But Footsteps changed me. I became more respectful and learnt to control myself and control my anger. I remember a time when a teacher at Footsteps shouted at me and I just lost it, I was rude. But then in the end I got to a point where I was able to say sorry. I just got a bit more respectful.

What are your future plans, nearly 10 years after joining footsteps?
I work as a dustman for a local council. I’m just cracking on with doing that. I’m just working and having a bit of a social life and keeping out of trouble. For my future plans, thanks to Footsteps giving me the courage to go out and do what I want to do, my plan is now to move abroad to Japan. I’m going to be teaching English. I plan on starting in November. I’ll be moving to Tokyo.

If you had to summarise your experience at Footsteps in one word, what would it be?
Life-changing. I would say it was life changing. If I look back to the 15 year old and look at the 25 year old Jack they are not the same person. If I was out and someone said something to me at age 15 I would go off on one. But now if someone comes up to me I just tell them to go away. I walk away from the situation. That is a massive change compared to what I used to be.

How did volunteering with Footsteps before transitioning into employment benefit you?
It gave me the life skills for work. When I finished school I wasn’t quite prepared for work life. If a boss had told me off I may not have known how to take it. But working with you, Chris and Mrs Hall, gave me the knowledge for work life. That pushed me forward for when I did leave Footsteps.

If you had the opportunity to speak to young Jack, what would you say?
I would tell him to grow up and don’t be an idiot. Even though it worked out in the end I think it would have worked out a but quicker if I had listened in school. When I first started I would right my name, date and objective and would do nothing else. But look at me now, I am studying another language, a very hard language,  in order to move to a different country.

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