I grew up in South East London, mainly in Kennington and Crystal Palace. When you grow up in a low-income area like I did you have to find ways to afford things that your parents might not be able to provide. Having the best trainers and the nicest outfits mattered to me at the time, so I started selling sweets and snacks in school to earn the money. This is where my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and it allowed me to buy the things other people had.
My experiences growing up definitely played a massive part in motivating me and I always think there have been advantages to being disadvantaged! Life is all about perspective and I think when you grow up being used to scarcity rather than abundance you have to force yourself to find the opportunities where others won’t necessarily see opportunities. Going to sixth form and living near a more affluent area opened my mind to what was out there for me. Wishing for a better future is one thing, but visualising it in front of you is another and builds your aspirations. I always knew I wanted to achieve more!
After sixth form, I went on to do a degree apprenticeship with Pearson Education and studied Business Management at the University of Kent. I am really proud to have achieved a 2:1 as it was really challenging but one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had! I am still working at Pearson as a manager in their student engagement department and managing my own organisation Worth of Mouth alongside the day job. Worth of Mouth is a media platform which creates and shares positive content around under-represented young people within the UK and helps businesses better connect, engage & market to diverse Gen-Z Consumers
When I think about a piece of advice for my younger self and others in similar positions it would have to be to dream without limitations! As we get older we may reduce the scale of what we think is achievable. But the ability to continue to think big and make progress towards the dreams you had when you were younger is something I would advise anyone to commit to!
I’d also say that it is important to be proud of your differences. Remember to feel confident in your journey. Sometimes it can be so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others but have faith in yourself!