Hey readers, how's it goin'?
Today was the first day of 'college' for me. I'm taking a NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) in youth work and community. I had to sit an English and math assessment, as that's an add on course which I chose. Apparently I have nothing to worry about, although I'm SURE my math results will be AWFUL!
For a while now, I've been questioning WHY I'm a youth worker. Maybe it's all the recent events with the stabbing and whatnot, but I began losing my drive for the job.
Anyways, today was no different. I sat in this room with three tutors and all the other youth workers who were taking the same course, but all the while I'm asking myself if being here is really worth it. It was interesting. I met some great people, so I'm glad I went.
I can't believe this next part. It's like some cheesy scene from a movie or something.
After the session ended, I walked through town to my bus stop. It was pretty quiet, but there was this really shifty lookin' guy at the bus stop too, and he kept staring at me like, every 20 seconds. His hood was up, he had a scarf round most his face. He looked like such a chav! I really felt creeped out, so I went and sat on the bench. Sure enough, he comes and sits next to me and asks me for the time. 'Ten to ten', I told him. He then asked if I'd got 30 pence for the bus to Pittsmore (which is an area that's not too far from the bus stop), so I gave him a pound instead. He seemed grateful, said thank you and went quiet, but he kept looking at me again!
I got this feeling that he wanted to talk, so I asked him 'So have you had a good night?'. He shook his head, looked down and said 'I've been a naughty guy tonight'. He went on to tell me that he was 17, no job and had been involved in some kind of drugs raid just minutes before. I knew straight away that 'youth worker Ste' was gonna get involved here, so in front of other people, I gave him the whole youth worker lecture and asked him about his life.
He said 'Grand theft auto, the computer game - that's my life, but in real life and that's what I'm used to'. He explained that he's involved in gang wars. 'You people don't see the wars that are going on around us'. Little does he know, but I do know about these 'Post code' (Zip code) wars.
I KNEW that there was a good kid in there somewhere, so I carried on chatting to him, trying to make him laugh. Sure enough, it worked!
His hood came down, the scarf came away from his face. The transformation was unbelievable! Such a good looking and SOCIABLE character. Turns out he's really into street art and writing. How could a kid like this be involved in drugs raids at 17 years old, especially being as bright as he is?! I told him about the work we do. We actually hire professional spray painters in to do street art projects with groups. Like some stores want their shutters spraying with a theme....we do work like this.
I also told him about all we can offer, and I tell ya, he totally lit up. I passed him my number, and although he has no phone, he's gonna borrow some one's and we'll arrange for him to come visit us at the centre.
Both our buses turned up simultaneously. He shook my hand and thanked me. Actually though, I should be thanking him, 'cos he seemed to be a big reminder of why I work with young people, right when I needed it the most, and so I told him so.
I soooooo hope he gets in touch with us, 'cos his life could easily go the wrong way, and I don't wanna be hearing about another stabbing or shooting again.
I just can't believe that I bumped into this young lad with the problems he had, and I managed to help him, or at least do my part to get him on the right track. What a sign....and not even a subtle one. It's right smack dab in my face!! WEIRD!!