To any teens reading this... it’s never too late to start over

A young woman from Glanmire, Anna Jakobek, a Cork ETB student, has been accepted onto the Washington Leadership Programme — shortlisted from 500 applications. Here she tells us about her time at Mayfield Training Centre
To any teens reading this... it’s never too late to start over

 Anna Jakobek from Glanmire.

Anna Jakobek, from Glanmire,  a Cork ETB student has been accepted onto the Washington Leadership Programme, She has written about her time at Mayfield Training Centre. 

SCHOOL is a difficult topic for many people. I know that it was for me. The regular set in stone system we have in place is not optimal for many students. That is why Mayfield Community Training Centre is an amazing place to be at. For me it was the perfect stepping stone to catapult my education and career like I wanted to since I was young. The centre isn’t too big where you would have 1,000 students, the class sizes are small and very relaxed. There is a range of classes to choose from and among them I chose the one I thought would suit me best- Business.

I don’t think there are enough kind words to describe the staff at the centre. Everyone is extremely welcoming and eager to help if you show that you want it. What I love the most is that staff here don’t treat you as a child. You get treated like an adult and education is placed in your hands. The work you do and at what pace is entirely up to you. You get a real sense of freedom with this kind of learning which I personally thrive in. I do all my work at my own pace and I’m the one solely responsible for the work meaning that if I get a bad grade it’s on me (not that I would but I wanted to make this point).

Since I started Learning at the centre many amazing things have happened. Not only am I a Business Skills Student at Mayfield Community Training Centre but I also do separate courses in excel at ECollege and will soon be a certified Excel Specialist, as well as a course in fundamentals to digital marketing, I recently finished my web design course run by the centre in conjunction with the Cork City Partnership and I’m starting a leadership course at the Washington Ireland Program. This is a program that I applied for during the lockdown, on the recommendation of the centre, that is designed to help create future leaders of Ireland and Northern Ireland to work together to bring about peace in both regions. There was a rigorous application process and I was delighted to be shortlisted from over 500 applicants.

Apart from having the amazing opportunity to do all of these courses and continue to learn and grow, I am the Student Representative for Mayfield Training Centre and the Learners Voices Committee for the ETB. I was fortunate enough to have helped to breakdown the new communications curriculum for the centre and my folder will be used as a template for students and teachers who will be doing the course soon. From September, I will be a Business student at Cork College of Commerce and be one step closer to attend university in London from September 2022.

One way the centre helped to keep our minds stimulated during lockdown was by telling us about a creative writing competition. All of the work submitted is being put together and will be published as a hardback copy that each student will receive. There will be a Celebration of Creativity taking place on the 25 th May to launch this book and I was honoured to be asked to host the event.

I was also informed that I will be nominated for an Exceptional Endeavour award at the Lifelong Learning Festival. I think it’s safe to say I’m keeping myself busy and constantly reaching for more, and that’s because being at Mayfield Training Centre has helped me to realize my true potential and chase after it.

Getting to where I am today wasn’t easy. Just until a few months ago I was a secondary school dropout who was working full time at restaurants and desperately wanting for someone to see my potential.

Years of hardship, pain and confusion ultimately allowed me to be the person I am today- strong, passionate, hardworking and above all self-motivated. I think it’s safe to say that it’s never too late to start over and take a different route to make your dreams a reality. I went from getting diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression and not being able to leave my house to being a Student Representative at my centre, getting involved in committees to change our educational system and opening myself up more than ever before and I’m just getting started.

So to any teenager or kid reading this who is feeling lost or doesn’t know what to do with their life it will take time but don’t give up. You’ll find the right path for yourself at some point and discover your true potential.

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