story 01.02.2023

DofE allows Mia to share her love of books with others

Mia was drawn to DofE after seeing how her step-sisters were positively impacted by their Awards. As she watched them step out their comfort zones and try new things, Mia wanted to push her own limits, and starting her DofE was the perfect place to do that. She has become more confident, and it has given her the opportunity to mix with people she wouldn’t ordinarily, both within and outside of school. 

“For my Skills section I learnt how to cook, it was entirely new to me and I’d been telling myself I needed to learn before I moved away to university, so DofE seemed like a good opportunity to start! I’ve been cooking a lot with my parents – my mum is from Pakistan and my dad is mixed English and Bajan so it’s given them a chance to teach me dishes and pass down their recipes from their parents. It’s been a good bonding experience and given us this connection.”

“Since I was around seven I developed a love for reading and I remember in school we had an older student who used to come to class and read with us, but I was never chosen to as they focused on people that needed more support. So when my Volunteering section came around, I decided I wanted to read with all kinds of people. I gives me an opportunity to share that love of books with someone. I feel like reading is dying out a bit amongst teenagers so if I can help younger children get into reading that would be great, I’d just like to pass on that passion and enthusiasm. It’s just the most amazing thing to submerge myself in stories and now that I’m older and a lot of my life revolves around school and studying, when I can pick up a book for a few minutes it just takes me across the world, away from school.”

“I think DofE offers young people the opportunity to defy their own labels, their own stereotypes and be more confident trying new things without fear of judgement. DofE also taught me a lot about responsibility. It’s easy enough to be responsible for yourself but now I’m reading with year sevens I’m also responsible for other people. I’ve had to make my own plans on what to read with them, so it’s been a good responsibility, a good pressure to step up and be the older role model taking care of the younger people in my school. I feel like I’ve helped create a more comfortable environment for them to read, to feel comfortable making mistakes and I’ve tried to support them as best as I can.”

Mia is one of the DofE participants at Connaught School for Girls. A school based in an area of high deprivation where many of the pupils haven’t seen the countryside. Connaught School is one of our Access Without Limits programmes that are underway to offer free places for young people who need this funding the most. 

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