BY ALICIA EDMUND
EMERGING VOICES | COVID 19
Interviewer: Alicia Edmund (Communications and Policy Manager)
I was working in the hospitality team at Wembley Stadium when the country first went into lockdown. Like millions of other young people, I was out of work and lost the confidence that came with having a job. Three years employed finished just like that, with little support in finding a new job. I was left to navigate the pandemic by myself which was tough in the begin.
One highlight from lockdown, was when DJ Target invited me to freestyle on BBC 1xtra Instagram Live show. The feedback was incredible and has helped me to keep focused and motivated in difficult times.
I have always been the type of person to learn from every opportunity, however challenging the situation, and I would definitely say that 2020 has been a steep learning curve. I am 20 years young and have had to adapt to finding work and learning new skills. The time gained through unemployment I have spent developing my music and building an online brand across social media platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Instagram. During this time, I have found management, grown in confidence in sharing my work with others and been vocal about the issues affecting me and my peers. The dream would be to turn this passion project into full time work. Till then I am applying for work.
I have been grateful to Leap and the post programme career and employment advice they have given me. I have worked closely with Aaliyah and it has kept me focused and my mood up. She has been a great support in researching jobs and helping me to reflect my skills well in a CV and applications. Leap has played a key role. in my life since I was 17 years old, I feel I am supposed to be connected to the work going forward in some way.
October 2020, I am excited to have my music feature in The Big House socially distanced performance – The Ballad of Corona V. The production is an immersive production around its buildings as the story of the pandemic is told through comedy and music.
Looking to the rest of the year and into 2021, I definitely want to use my voice and craft to shape positive change for young people. This year, I feel with all that has gone neither the government nor the media are really listening to young people. They either gravitate to extreme headlines, like blaming young people for the rise in cases in the summer but not taking the time to listen and engage us. If they did, they would create policy and develop solutions that better support young people.
To support other Leap graduates to fulfill their potential like Haroun, you can give online or connect with our team creating employment opportunities with Leap graduates following a course.