Inspired to achieve – Care Leavers Week special blog27 October 2017
My name is Sam. I was a care leaver in 2011 who arrived on the shores of Swansea – then the beloved Swansea Metropolitan, to study Education (and transition to become a Primary School Teacher). The purpose of this writing is to bring to your attention the most significant experiences that led to my almost failure, though contributed to my success – and to give voice to those who need it. Now in my 5th year, I’ll keep it swift.
I come from a place where stability of a home was rare, and provision and the focus of education were not a priority. Because of my label LAC (Looked After Child), who was I to achieve? or even dream of social mobility or success. I have a vivid memory being 8 years old, sitting in a doctor’s office with a Foster Parent, and the doctor asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, I replied, “a teacher”.the Foster Parent interrupted sharply stating that I could never become a teacher because my father was an alcoholic, and my mother a drug addict. Being in care from the age of 3, this is one of many events that built a glass ceiling above my head. I do believe that having low expectations of children disables them and robs them of their dreams.
Anyway, I was awakened to wanting to better myself against the odds when I was 16. I lost my father in his struggle with alcohol and as easy as it was to follow in his footsteps, I decided to give education a shot. It was my ticket out, to break the cycle. Achieving my GCSE’s and A Levels and advancing to University was a real test for me.