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Can you see the difference?

By Raymond Thomas
April 2003, Cynon Valley
A digital story from Capture Wales

A change in Raymond

Raymond shows that with determination we can get to where we want to be - no matter what others may say.

"Three years ago my life revolved around my Playstation. I was endlessly trapped within the four walls of my bedroom. I didn't know anyone in Fernhill and I didn't want to sit on the shop wall with a flagon of cider because that weren't my idea of fun!

I went through school studying hard, hoping to pass my exams. This also excluded me from the other boys who enjoyed working the teachers up and playing the part of class clowns. 'Cos again, this weren't my idea of fun!

But then I came across a careers teacher - the careers teacher from hell! I wanted to be a youth worker. I wanted a challenge, I wanted to influence the lives of young people and I wanted a job that was fun... and I was so close to getting all of this. But she told me I weren't capable of it because I was from Fernhill and that I would end up like all the other boys working in a factory somewhere. This disheartened me, and I failed my GCSEs. But then I got involved with the Fernhill Youth Project and I saw the opportunity to prove her wrong.

Now I work there and I am close to achieving my goal. I am chairperson of the project and I am due to do my youth work training. So not only do I have the satisfaction of pleasure of working towards something, but I also have the satisfaction of knowing that I am one up over that teacher. So can you see the difference?

End Music. End slide - Soundtrack by Mook, Cheers Boys."

Raymond Thomas

Please tell us about yourself?
I was born in the Cynon Valley and raised by my grandparents from the age of two weeks. I'm 17 years old now.

What's your story about?
It's about my ambition to be a youth worker and fulfilling my dream. I was disheartened by a careers teacher who told me I weren't capable of it. I wanted to tell this story because people can obtain anything they dream of if they are determined to do it, no matter who tells them they can't.

What did you find the most rewarding aspect about the workshop?
It gave me the chance to reflect on my progress over the last three years and also to prove that teacher wrong.

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