Maureen Weah was one of the graduates of the first Jack Petchey Foundation Achiever’s Network, which concluded in April 2013. The program ran over eighteen months, empowering young people to participate in the Foundation’s work, gain valuable work experience and develop key life skills.
One of the main reasons Maureen, 19, applied to be a part of the Achiever’s Network was to develop her ability to communicate well with a variety of people and audiences. On reflection, she said:
“Being in the Achiever’s Network helped me to develop my confidence, and taught me the importance of setting goals. The training days were really beneficial, and interacting with different audiences has certainly improved my communication skills!”
When the Achiever’s Network began, participants were obliged to input a £60 commitment fee that the Foundation would hold until the completion of the program. At the end of the eighteen months, they would have the opportunity to further invest that money in a project that would help meet their goals.
Maureen decided to invest the money, which was doubled by the Foundation, in her fashion company Modern Heritage. The label merges traditional patterns, such as traditional African prints, with contemporary designs in an effort to create a unique style.
“My aspirations for the future are to finish my degree, and develop and achieve my entrepreneurial goals. Jack Petchey is a modern inspiration to young people, both as a businessman and as a philanthropist. ‘If you think you can, you can’ is a policy that certainly resonates with the youth of today!”
As well as developing skills beneficial for her future ambitions, Maureen also completed volunteering work during the program. She helped with the running of the Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge, completed charity work in her 6th form and took part in volunteering projects at Crystal Palace F.C.
“Being a part of the Achiever’s Network helped to shape me into a confident and motivated individual. I am a big supporter of the Jack Petchey Foundation – It is virtuous that Jack and the Foundation seek to recognise the achievements of individuals and organisations that promote good youth work, and who might not always get the funding or recognition they deserve. Thanks for giving youth a chance!”
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