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In 2017, I had to leave my home due to a breakdown in family relationships. At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my future. I was faced with a lot of uncertainty.

I began sofa surfing with friends and would intermittently return to my family home. But it never lasted long, and I was soon looking for somewhere to stay again. I needed to find something more permanent.

I was on the verge of being homeless as I had one night left on a friend’s sofa. Thankfully, another friend told me about YMCA MK; I had never heard of it before. I went to visit the hostel and after speaking with staff I was offered a bed.

Finding stability again

To start with, staff at the YMCA helped me to feel comfortable in my new surroundings. I didn’t know anyone and there were a lot of new faces to meet. The staff also helped me in terms of learning how to support myself, as this was the first time I had lived away from home for a prolonged period of time.

I was keen to sort myself out and felt like I now had the opportunity to really think about my future without having to worry about where I was going to sleep that night.

One of the first things I did was share my CV with the support staff. They could see that I had the qualifications needed to go to university, but at the time I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, and that uncertainty was the root cause of a lot of my problems. So, they referred me to the job centre so I could get help to refine my CV further to make it more professional.

I applied for a few roles in the finance sector, as I had some previous experience of working in a bank. I didn’t feel sure though, so I also began applying for university courses. I was accepted by Brunel University London, The University of Manchester and London School of Economics. After speaking to Will, YMCA’s Employment Manager at the time, I accepted a place at The University of Manchester.

After accepting the offer, I still felt uncertain and continued to apply for finance roles in London. It wasn’t long before I was offered a job at Wealth Bridge Capital  Solutions, a hedge fund company. I finally felt like this was the right opportunity for me.

A few weeks later I moved to London, and I’ve been there for nearly two years now. I’m really enjoying my job and have been studying towards a Chartered Financial Analyst qualification, in which I have achieved levels 1,2 and 3. I am now looking to progress with levels 4, 5 and 6 to be fully qualified.

Looking back

During my time at YMCA, I realised that I was wasting my skills and experience. The struggles that I faced and being at risk of homelessness encouraged me to push myself.

I have since revisited YMCA to see the new campus, which is wonderful. It’s a great environment for young people to live in. My advice to any young person who is currently struggling with their situation, would be to remember that you’re not stuck where you are. Take all the advice that is available to you – there are lots of people and organisations out there willing to help. As long as you stay motivated to set and achieve your goals, no matter how big or small, you can get to where you want to be.

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