My name is Mehmet Senkoy. I’ve been studying at The Petchey Academy for the past six years now, and I’m currently in sixth-form studying A-levels History, Business and Psychology. Since primary school, I’ve always been intrigued by the work of ReachOut, finding the programme not only educating and helpful for building my character but also very fun. The afterschool clubs where we’d play football and other sports is a very strong memory of mine, and it has helped me boost my confidence when around new people, allowing me to make new friends. These are just some reasons why I wanted to do my summertime work experience with ReachOut. Being responsible for putting smiles on young peoples’ faces- especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds- makes me feel proud of myself, and reminds me of my younger days where I needed an organisation like ReachOut to keep me happy and inspired.

The past two weeks at ReachOut have been eventful, providing me with many opportunities that I may never receive again. For example, the first week I accompanied CEO Peter Blackwell to an eye-opening Careers and Enterprise meeting, where I met a bunch of CEO’s from other organisations (such as Young Enterprise and Career Ready, which are programmes I’ve participated in). Furthermore, I’ve also had the opportunity to email celebrities from Hackney in the hope of finding a patron for ReachOut, as well as taking over the ReachOut Instagram page and answering questions from our followers. We recently just had a dodgeball tournament against Rede Partners as well, proving the diverse and enjoyable experience I’ve had with ReachOut during the short amount of time that I’ve been here.

Despite all these amazing events and activities, I’d say that the most memorable moment for me during my time has been the WEV (Workplace Experience Visit) with FutureBrand, where I took part in a workshop with some young people from South London and helped my team create a new shoe brand. We discussed the demographic of the shoe, the inspirations for the design and drew some sample shoes, and then presented our ideas to everyone. The reason why this event was my favourite is because it reminded me of when I used to take part in similar activities with ReachOut in primary school, and how much I enjoyed sharing my ideas with my friends and presenting in front of my class.

I don’t want to study at university. Even though I’ve heard many stories of how fun and lively of an experience it is, I feel as though I am the type of student who learns better practically rather than from a textbook. This is why I’m considering doing an apprenticeship which will allow me to understand my future career in a more detailed manner, and also the added bonus of earning while learning is a motivator too. In terms of what industry I’d like to pursue a career in, I’m not fully sure. My passion for history has lead me to considering law, but the length of the course has thrown me off; I feel like I’ll be able to achieve much more in 6 years within many industries rather than focusing on one specific industry.

Based on my overall experience with ReachOut (being a mentee and working as an intern), I would definitely consider working for charities. But, being the person I am, I think I’d much rather start my own charity! Maybe become a ReachOut partner too…