Amira participated in the Teens and Toddlers programme in 2011 and has stayed in touch with Power2 ever since. We caught up with Amira to talk about her entire journey with Power2 and the reflections she’s had since completing the programme in 2011.

“It’s been around 12 years since I took part in Teens and Toddlers, but I still remember it fresh in my mind, that’s how much I enjoyed it.”

“The programme is separated into two sections where you spend half of your time in the nursery class with your toddler and the other half with your peers and a facilitator. The relationship with our facilitator didn’t feel like a teacher-student relationship. Of course, we were all there together to learn, but most importantly we could express ourselves. We explored topics we wouldn’t normally explore at school in a trusted environment.”

“I was suggested to take part in the programme because I was what I call a ‘yes person’. I didn’t really think for myself, I would agree to everything I was asked to do, whether that was at home or at school. I never really thought for myself, and that’s possibly where I would have struggled in later life. I know I would have struggled to make decisions for myself and to be independent. I think my teacher saw that as an opportunity for me to grow in confidence.”

“Something I remember that always sticks out whenever I think about the programme is one of the lead facilitators said to me ‘anger is a normal emotion, it’s natural to feel negative emotions sometimes’. I remember that so specifically because I’ve never been someone who expressed much anger or negative feeling, and now being older I know that it’s natural. It’s something that we should express when appropriate.”

“I was in Year 11 when I took part in the programme which was quite an important time when I needed to be able to think for myself and express my honest emotions. Being able to say, I want to do a specific subject at A level was a really big thing for me.”

After graduating from the programme, Amira remained in contact with Power2. Once she completed sixth form, Amira started to apply for jobs but faced similar challenges to most young people who are trying to get onto the career ladder.

“My parents encouraged me to focus on my studies so once I completed sixth form, I started to look for part-time jobs for the first time. I applied for lots of jobs – every job you could think of - I did not get even an interview.”

“I wasn’t having much success until Power2 told me about this job fayre at Buckingham Palace and I was fortunate enough to be one of the young people invited to go along with the charity. It was here that I discovered a summer role being advertised at Buckingham Palace.”

“Power2 provided me with a mentor which was exactly what I needed. My mentor helped me with my application form and my very first interview! When I went for the interview, my interviewer remembered me from the job fayre. This helped me to stay calm in the interview and it felt more like a conversation – and I got the summer job at Buckingham Palace!”

“Whilst I was in that job a similar position was advertised in the Houses of Parliament and was fortunate enough to get that role too. I’ve now worked in parliament for 8 years.”

In August 2021, Amira became one of our Young Trustees bringing her experience of participating in our programmes, and her insight into the challenges young people are facing today into our strategic discussions.

“It’s an honour to oversee such an important charity and the work it does so that a lot more people can benefit from Power2’s support in the way that I have. Without Teens and Toddlers, I don’t think I would have been as confident as I am at work and be able to speak up when things aren’t going right. I’ve just taken on the role of Voice Champion at my workplace. Everyone having a voice and being comfortable at the place they work is something I am passionate about. I don’t think I would have been passionate about that without doing the Teens and Toddlers programme, and without the support of the facilitators who helped me find my voice.”