Four years ago Nathalie Hogg, a then-seventeen year old sixth form student from Buckinghamshire had a school visit from Action4Youth’s National Citizen Service (NCS), a visit that she says changed the direction and future prospects of her life.
Action4Youth has played a huge part in my life over the past four years. When I was seventeen years old, the National Citizen Service (NCS) team visited my school to deliver a presentation about the programme. I had never been a particularly loud and confident young person and a personal development programme like the NCS looked to be something that would do me a world of good.
During the summer, I met tons of great new people, including one of my (now) best friends, and learnt a lot about myself as a person. I remember on our first week away, gripping my harness until my knuckles turned white and screaming so loud on a giant swing that I lost my voice! My confidence shot through the roof after my NCS summer. I found myself developing a passion for philanthropy and an eagerness to work with young people. The experience was transformational in every sense of the word; I suddenly became a much more outgoing person.
Since graduating the programme in 2014, I have volunteered and worked as both an assistant and team leader in the summer, working to ensure that today’s young people have an incredible experience, just like I did. Now, four years on, I find myself working full time as part of that same NCS team. It is very much a ‘full circle’ experience for me and it gives me a great sense of pride and achievement to be able to work for the charity that provided me with the life-changing opportunity that is NCS. I do not use the phrase ‘life-changing’ lightly; it is astounding how much impact three weeks in the summer holidays with great people, new experiences and a little courage can have on a person.
Nathalie is now a Project Worker at Action4Youth, imparting her knowledge and experience to the next generation of young people who are keen to learn new skills and grow in confidence, just as she did.
For further information and to sign-up to take part in an Action4Youth NCS course visit www.action4youth.org/national-citizen-service.