Guest Blog for Make:Good – A Journey of Learning

Hi, I’m Sarah and I am a 2014 Year Here Fellow.

Part of the programme means I get a mentor and mine is Catherine from make:good, she invited me to share something of my experience on their blog so here goes.

My first personal blog was about fear: the fear of being accepted, the fear of the unknown, the fear that gripped me when I sent off my application to Year Here. Within the last year I have tried to say yes to as much as possible and Year Here is a culmination of this. As a result of saying yes to Year Here I have, moved to a new city, met a bunch of new people and thrown myself into my placement. There have been many new experiences and I have learnt new things about myself which which, whilst exhilarating, has also been quite scary.

Year Here has turned my life and outlook upside down. I applied to the programme with a vague sense of the need to do some good with my career. I saw it as a chance to challenge my views, face my fears and do some good. That it certainly has. Kickoff Bootcamp put me on the edge of my comfort zone and I encountered completely new experiences which made me realise the magnitude of the issues that exist within the UK. I am starting to understand the concept of ‘think big, start small.’ I am now on a placement for four months in an academy in South London. This experience in itself has been a huge learning curve. I entered this environment knowing that it would be difficult. I did not realise, however, that the difficulty would come, not from working with the students, but from finding my place within the institution. I am battling with myself not to try to change everything at once, but to see the good in what already exists. Working within the education system has made me realise that my views are quite strong. I have always been interested in the sector and have toyed with the idea of training as a teacher. I did not, however, realise how passionate I am about education and the need to allow children to not only achieve academically, but also to have the space to explore who they are. The development of themselves as people is just as important as the grades they achieve.

Year Here, so far, has been a huge learning curve, and one that continues to challenge me every day. This journey that I am on has expanded into an entirely new world with a plethora of paths which can be taken. Year Here is only the beginning, but it is something which has changed and challenged me so much already. I cannot wait for what the next eight months will bring and how many more transformations my outlook with go through. It is so important that we challenge our ideas and immerse ourselves new environments to gain crucial insights. Without these insights we as social innovators are ranging around in the dark. For social innovation to be as effective as possible, a deep awareness of the context is absolutely crucial.

This blog was originally published on the Make:Good blog ‘Whats Brewin’ and titled ‘A Journey of Learning’.

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