It's National Careers Week - and with 74% of young people being worried about the impact cancer will have on their future employment, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some inspiring and uplifting stories from young people we support who have found their path following their diagnosis.
Meet Tyler - at 18 he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Being diagnosed at such a young age meant he had limited qualificiations behind him, leading him to feel that the opportunity of achieving a successful career was impossible.
Now, he is on track to achieve a first in his Quantity Surveying degree and alongside his studies, he works full time with one of our Corporate Partners, Islandbridge Properties.
"I am currently a trainee quantity surveyor working for Islandbridge Properties Limited.
Working as a trainee quantity surveyor, no day is ever the same which is great! You could one day be in the office, head down into drawings, performing calculations and measurements to provide a bill of quantities for a specific job on a project, to being on site ensuring work has been completed to what was priced for, and meeting sub-contractors for a pre-contract meeting to ensure they have allowed for all requirements to complete the specific works.
Then there’s the IT side; Excel is your new best friend! This helps keep track of all payments being processed and putting together substantial information which will help for future projects along with current ones.
I am also currently going to university in Chelmsford one day a week; I work full time at Islandbridge Properties for the rest.
The course I am studying is a Quantity Surveying degree, which is noticed and accredited by RICS (Royal Institute Of Chartered Surveyors). I am currently in my second year and so far I have been able to achieve firsts in all of my modules.
Teens Unite supported me in all kinds of ways so I could pursue a career in this field. I was able to develop my communication skills by speaking to random strangers who have been in similar situations after being diagnosed, this then developed into friendships through the ability to communicate and share expressions with one another.
They have also allowed me to gain confidence to achieve the things I want to achieve through various activities. Teens Unite provided me with encouragement to speak with people who have been successful in their careers, who I have had the opportunity to meet at various workshops.
Teens Unite provide young people like me with the links and skills that help develop someone into the person they were previous to their cancer diagnosis; as we all know, you never quite feel the same after.
In all honesty, when I was diagnosed and undergoing treatment, I thought the opportunity of achieving a successful career was impossible! I mean there isn’t much opportunity once companies think it’s a risk to employ someone who has had two or three years, or potentially an even longer time off due to cancer.
Also I didn’t have a back up plan; I was diagnosed at such a young age where I didn’t have any qualifications or degrees behind me which would make me more employable. Thanks to Teens Unite and the opportunity give by Islandbridge Properties Limited I am now striving to be the most successful person I can be.
If I could give a message to my former self, I’d say never think it's over just because you have been diagnosed with cancer. Opportunities are still out there for you to become the best you can possibly be. Keep a strong attitude and it will show other people what you are capable of."
Detailed below are our events for Teens, Volunteers, Fundraising and Challenges.
Volunteering with Teens Unite has changed my personality and outlook on life. When I hear all the amazing things the teens say about Teens Unite, I can tell they mean every word.
Teens Unite isn't just a charity to me, it was the beginning of restarting my life.
When Elliot started receiving the support of Teens Unite, I could see a change in him straightaway. His outlook on life was becoming positive again and I gained strength from seeing my little boy accepting what had happened and starting to move forward.
I needed help and that's where Teens Unite came in. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the reason I met Teens Unite was to save my life.
With Teens Unite, I finally realised that I could climb out of this massive hole that I had been digging because I wasn't alone anymore.
If it wasn't for Teens Unite, I wouldn't be where I am now. They have been really supportive and given me the strength to push myself and not give up.