“Truly inspiring”

Pupils in Kenya working together

School pupils doing a project together

My time with AV was truly inspiring. I never thought that I would have the ‘get up and go’ to do something like that and I proved that I could not just to myself but also lots of other people.

My experience in Kenya has really helped me in my job and has given me a quiet confidence in myself. It’s now been six years since my trip, four of which I spent at uni and two I’ve spent working. So far I have spent a year and a half working in a children’s home for troubled teenagers (think drugs, alcohol, violence, etc) and I know that without the confidence of having been in charge of forty Kenyan children I would not have been able to manage six very angry English teenagers.

At the moment I’m working in a pupil referral unit with difficult teenagers, another job that without the experience I wouldn’t have thought that I could do. My experience gave me the confidence to raise my voice and take control of a class, something that’s hard to do when you’re shy.

I think that having a gap year and taking part in a worthwhile activity is invaluable in today’s job climate, it sets you apart from other students and gives you a different more mature view of life. Without my time with AV I wouldn’t have felt the confidence to stretch my own ability and go for jobs that are out of my comfort zone. Without it I would have been just another ‘average’ graduate with a good degree but no experience of life.

Helen, AV gap year program, Kenya

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