story 20 February 2024

DofE has transformed Jay Jay from a “mischief maker” to a role model

18-year-old Jay Jay was often in trouble with his teachers for chatting in class and not concentrating. After signing up to do his DofE, things changed dramatically for Jay Jay: giving him the opportunity to step up and shine, transforming his reputation from a mischief maker to a reliable role model.

“I’ve always been mischievous, I’d mess around when I was bored and always found it hard to focus on things, which would get me into trouble. I’ve not been officially diagnosed because not all of the tests have come back but I’ve got ADHD. It was a relief to know it’s not my fault and that I can’t really help struggling to concentrate. DofE has given me something to really focus on and enjoy. Now people come and ask me to help with things, and teachers give me responsibility because they can trust me, that’s a really nice feeling.

“I’m volunteering at my old primary school helping out in the club I went to when I was there so all the staff know me and I get to see some of the old students who were younger than me. It’s nice to give back and it’s nice to go back, nothing has changed really, I’ve just got taller. And the chairs have got smaller! When I go back to my old school to volunteer it’s nice to see old teachers and be able to show them who I am now, they know I’ve changed and tell me I’m not as mischievous. It’s also good to see the younger students who remember me, they look up to me and it’s nice to feel that I have that responsibility. I see myself as a role model now, someone they can look up to and that’s really important to me.

“I’m looking forward to my expedition, it sounds like fun. I’m hoping all the exercise I’ve done for my Physical section will help with the walking and I don’t even care if it rains, I just want to get out there and do it!

“DofE has been a really positive experience for me, it’s given me loads of opportunities to do things I couldn’t have done before like going back to my old primary school, I love going back it’s bought back some really good memories and it feels good to be helping. I also think DofE also teaches you loads of new skills, makes your CV look better and gives you something to do; whether that’s helping out somewhere for getting fitter.”

Through the Resilience Fund, the DofE has been able to support South Shore Academy with vital funding which has so far given 300 young people opportunities to start their DofE Awards. Learn more about The Resilience Fund here.

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