I started at a normal school like everyone else on the estate. But I had a few challenges other people haven’t had to have, like the murder of my brother. You learn to be stronger, not just outside but inside.

I was actually quite bright when I was in primary school, I actually got quite good grades, but then they slipped when I went to high school. I didn’t have someone that could push me in a different direction when I was doing bad.

I had hiccups; I always had fun but I’d never speak back to a teacher, that just wasn’t me. I just didn’t like that much stuff about school, it just wasn’t for me. After year 7, I just started to fall down as I wasn’t really getting help in my English and maths. I didn’t know about my dyslexia. I didn’t know I had anything like that, I just thought I couldn’t do it.

At that point, in English I wasn’t even opening my book, I was just writing the date and that’s about it. School didn’t notice or do anything to help. For a full year… empty pages. They did have support staff but they were always up in a section that was closed off from us. If I was working with them then they might have noticed I’d spelt something wrong, like, 5 times – they probably would have picked up something.

At school there were so many kids you couldn’t get a word in with the teachers, but at Nacro I get more help, more one-to-one support. It’s calm, there’s no people running up the hallways, screaming. Nacro also got me a diagnosis of dyslexia and now I know I’ve got that, I don’t put everything down to it. It empowers me to overcome issues, to try and do other stuff, even if something sets you back it makes you want to go forward, not stop.

I’m looking forward to getting a full-time work placement, and doing my Level 2 construction in September. I’m actually learning something new here.