Kiara Ross from Elgin High School is our 2018 Leidos UK Student of the Year. Here, she shares how a Career Ready mentor and a paid internship at Moray council has helped her prepare for a successful future. 

I had a very difficult childhood. I was fostered at the age of two, along with my sister. Before I started the Career Ready programme, I was failing in school and working against those who just wanted to help me. I was giving up on things that meant something to me and thought that the world was against me. It was a vicious cycle. I missed the start of the programme because I couldn’t face going into a room with 80 people or meeting Karen, my mentor. Gradually I started to embrace it.

Thanks to Karen and an internship at Moray council, I’ve grown into an ambitious and confident person. 

Karen helped me to develop new skills, taught me the importance of approaching things professionally and confidently.  For instance, she taught me the importance of shaking somebody’s hand, so, during my internship at Moray Council, I shook the hand of the CEO every morning. 

Karen also taught me to never stop trying and to keep going for something if you really want it, no matter how many setbacks you may have. I’m positive that her guidance and support will continue to help me for years to come. 

The biggest impact she’s had on me is in terms of my confidence and attitude. I used to be full of anxiety and didn’t see the point in a lot of things I had to do. Thanks to the help I’ve received, I’m much more driven, my confidence has improved, and I’m past the mindset that all this is pointless. 

I’d just like to say thank-you to Karen for all she has done to help me. You’ve opened so many doors for me and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done. I know that if I am ever stuck or lose sight of what’s important, then you’ll be there to guide me and keep me going. 

My plan for the future is to continue my education by studying law at university and then becoming a family lawyer.  

I’d 100% recommend getting involved with Career Ready to anyone who’s starting to think about their future. The programme does exactly what it says on the tin as it really helps you kickstart your future. The opportunities and support you get on the programme can help set you up for life and prepare for a career you’d like to to have. 

Learn more about how Career Ready helps young people like Kiara kickstart a successful future, or get involved today and make a lasting difference.