Nosaiba lives at a Look Ahead service supporting young people and care leavers in West London. She is currently studying with the aim of going to university to train to become a nurse.
I first came to Look Ahead when I was 16, I’m turning 20 in December, so I’ve been here over three years now. I was upset when I first arrived, being away from my family was difficult. I’d had some bad habits before I came here too, I’d been hanging around with the wrong crowd, feeling lost and angry, like I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
But my support workers have had my back since day one. They set me up with a psychologist who helped me to open up about my experiences, and they also run workshops about how we can look after our own mental health and wellbeing. Since being here I’ve had what I can only describe as a spiritual awakening, I woke up one day, determined to get my life together. Since then, I’ve given up my bad habits which were harming me and stopping me from getting on. I’ve been working on myself and trying to get a good education, because I know things won’t change without input from me.
My support workers empowered me to start going to college too. I had missed a lot of school before, so starting education again was a challenge. I would look at my classmates and they would be responding quicker to the lessons than I was, it made me feel down. But my support workers worked together with the college and social services really well, they all knew about my situation and how best to work with me.
I’ve caught up since then. I really enjoy my course, I’m studying health and social care and biology, and I’ve been doing GCSEs as well. Last year I worked my socks off to pass English, and this year I’m working towards passing maths too. I also enjoy psychology, and I’ve been learning about it on my course and doing extra reading in my spare time. I’m giving my studies my all, because I want to go to university next year and train to be a nurse.
I didn’t have much help before Look Ahead, it’s made me feel ambitious to make a change and help other people, I don’t want anyone to feel how I did.
I’ve had the chance to take on personal challenges here too, I’m learning how to drive, and my instructor says I’m nearly ready to take a test. It’s another step towards independence.
I’m feeling good about the future.