When Zhenya was sixteen, he finished college and began work in a factory that makes equipment for ships. He has been a mechanic in this factory ever since. He began attending classes at Step Up in 2018. Here is his story in his own words:
“At school we were given the choice of becoming a joiner or a mechanic — that was all [young people graduating from correctional schools are routinely given a limited selection of courses they can study at college]. So, I chose mechanic.
At the factory, they know that I study at an evening school — I don’t hide it. Of course, they’re a bit nervous that I will leave early, but I need to be here [at Step Up] at 4pm. I get up at 6am, I work until 3pm and then, at 4pm, I have to be at evening school. That’s been my schedule for the last three years.
I want to finish studying and take up a different profession. In one word: I want to develop. I'd like to be able combine a career as an engineer with history... I was always interested in history.
I come to Step Up in order to study. I feel how the world around me is changing. For example, in how I socialise with people. If you have contact with intelligent people, you find out things and then you can use them in real life. At some point, I decided that this is all necessary for me.”
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