My Achievers Network Year
Our Achievers Network 8 cohort for 2019-20 recently graduated from the Achievers Network scheme. Some of our recent AN alumni wanted to share their experience of the programme this year…
My name is Sudipta and I was invited to apply to be a member of Achievers Network 8 back in 2019. Previously, I was a Step Into Dance Ambassador for 2018-19 thus already had had a feel of what it was like, collaborating with other young people, my age and was thrilled to apply for the Achievers Network in the following year.
Although I was anxious at first, wondering whether I was fit for what was coming up or if I could work well with the other Award Achievers; after joining AN8, I realised that everyone was unique and over the months, AN8 grew into a family.
When I joined AN8, I set myself the goal to try and become a better public-speaker, and after participating in a Zoom Speaker’s Trust session, I learned the tricks of public-speaking and was also able to confidently deliver my speech on our graduation evening, even though it was online!
AN8 gives you the chance to gain an identity and learn how to strengthen relationships and structure your life, and using these skills can help with jobs, college or building friendships or great connections in the future.
My favourite part of the whole experience was the residential, not only because of the ghost stories, pizza party or because of the magic tricks, but also because we discovered more about our own personalities and got to persevere and demonstrate hard work through various obstacle courses. Through the mud, rain and dark we all made it through to the end!
I would encourage anyone with the chance to join the programme to send in the application form as it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and helps you progress as a person and develop yourself- through fun activities and alongside young people, all from different walks of life, but all connected together!
A little over a year ago, I received an email about an opportunity with the ‘Jack Petchey Achievers’ Network’. Unsure of what it would entail, I decided to apply anyway because, well, why not? So about 2 weeks later I turned up to Canary Wharf with my dad, got lost, and eventually found my way to the Selection Day.
When I left the room that day, I’d made 20 new friends and was already extremely excited about the year ahead. Fast forward a month or so to one of the highlights of the whole programme: the residential trip. The weekend was spent laughing, learning, crawling, climbing and of course, getting soaked by the October rain! We also had a party in the basement, singing at the top of our lungs and dancing under the flashing disco lights. It was far more fun than I ever expected, and living with people (shout out to my roommates!) is a sure-fire way to get to know them quickly!
The next few sessions took place in the JPF offices (and then on Zoom due to COVID-19 – we still found a way to make it work!), but we covered so many different topics – from revision skills to stereotypes, from self-esteem to fundraising. I personally found the study skills sessions extremely useful, despite not being able to use them for my GCSEs; I will definitely be using those techniques in future!
I am so grateful to have had the privilege of joining the Achievers’ Network; I have grown a lot in confidence and had fantastic experiences like judging competitions, working with a mentor and just having fun, as well as meeting so many varied and amazing people.
I know now that taking the leap of faith and responding to that email was the right decision because as I learnt as part of AN8, life starts as the edge of your comfort zone.
I got into the Achievers Network 8, as I was a Speak Out Challenge Finalist, and was asked if I wanted to be a part of this programme. Going into it, I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but I’m so glad I took part. I’ve had countless laughs, made friends, learnt so many skills, and grown a lot as a person.
I’ve achieved so much this year, from facing my fears by throwing myself over a wooden pole and crawling through pitch black tunnels (I do not like small spaces!), to learning and improving so much about myself.
I think the main thing I loved about Achievers Network, apart from meeting such an amazing group of people, was that being a part of something like this made me want to be the best version of myself. I genuinely saw changes in the people surrounding me on the course, the less confident ones becoming courageous, the outspoken sitting back and letting others talk, and people from all different backgrounds and lifestyles becoming friends.
It’s hard to explain what the Achievers Network is, because its like nothing I have ever done before, and it’s such a different experience for everyone that takes part. All I know is that the things I have learnt, I will take with me through life. I hope to use the skills I’ve gained to become a performer or teacher, as my confidence has grown so much over this year. To anyone hesitant about whether or not to join the programme all I have to say is: DO IT!
The Achievers Network is a programme where participants are invited to apply to the Achievers Network for a year long training and personal development course including a weekend residential, training days and mentoring.
To find out more about the Achievers Network, click here.