Shannon, 17, from St. Saviour, Jersey, lost her sense of worth when her academic abilities hindered her GCSE choices. Since taking part in a Prince's Trust programme, Shannon is persuing further education and working in a job she thought she'd never have the courage to do.
Shannon has always had a positive outlook on life even though she struggled with learning, but when her academic performance restricted the subjects she could take for her GCSEs, everything changed; Shannon withdrew, her self-esteem plummeted and she began failing in core subjects.
"It wasn't that I didn't want to learn, I just found it very, very hard. Sport was the only thing I was really good at, and when I couldn't take PE for GCSE because of my other grades, it made me feel like I was being punished for not being clever enough."
Shannon developed a negative attitude towards school and was referred to an xl club, a Prince's Trust programme that helps motivate young people who are struggling at school.
During xl, Shannon drew on her sports skills and demonstrated talent as a team leader and motivator. Realising that the talents she'd always had could be applied to other aspects of her life, Shannon's confidence grew; she felt more comfortable taking part in group discussions and presentations at school and her xl club. She also took pride in her work, and subsequently felt confident enough to take her GCSE maths.
Shannon's new attitute has had a fantastic impact on her life. She now recognises her educational needs, is happy to talk about them, and wants to keep learning. She has applied for a college course, and has overcome her shyness in order to work part-time in a customer-facing job in a cafe.
"Im proof that the xl programme works. Because of xl, I'm happier, more confident, in a job I never thought I'd be able to do, and am about to make lots of new friends at college!"