How you’ll find you fit into Your Own Place and YOPAB no matter who you are!
My name is Chanel and I am going to take you down my journey through Your Own Place (YOP) and their Advisory Board (YOPAB).
It all started when I was sitting down with my leaving care advisor and I mentioned that I wanted to leave my mark on the planet and be remembered as someone that made a difference in to someone’s life like she had mine.
P.S. my leaving care advisor was incredible.
She had mentioned to me that Rebecca the CEO and founder of YOP had been into the office they worked in and had spoken about offering any leaving care individuals a ‘mentor’ to help them move through their transition of young adulthood with their mentoring skills.
My social worker contacted Rebecca and explained that I didn’t necessarily need a mentor, but that she felt I would be an incredible mentor. My foot was officially in the door as people would say. After that I went through the mentor training with Simone, another incredible member of the team. Shortly after this Rebecca approached me and explained that YOP was planning of putting together an Advisory Board with a large percentage of these members being young adults that had first-hand experiences of the company. I of course said yes, I mean how could I not. I already knew what incredible work YOP had done in our community through the mentors let alone all the other services we provide.
I just want to stop here to say how incredibly welcome I felt through it all. I was under age for the age bracket of mentors (they like you to ideally be 21 minimum age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t, it more of an ideal because some young people might think a mentor the same age as them won’t take you seriously) and then with Rebecca coming to me personally, offering me the opportunity of a lifetime to join their team and help them make a different in the community and help others in a much bigger way.
That’s what is amazing about the team at Your Own Place they never stop seeing the potential in everyone and they really push you to be the best you can be.
They bring something out in you that you may have not even seen until you get to know the team and they tease it out of you.
So as a way of us new YOPAB members getting to know each other we went on a residential trip to Cromer for a weekend in August 2018. We did so many fun activities it was a crazy weekend. If you ever get to witness one of our fun filled YOPAB meetings and you meet one of our original members, then ask any questions about that weekend and you will soon see the joy on our faces looking back on that time we spent together. Joining forces to make a bigger better difference for our local communities. We did activities like laser tag in the woods, wall climbing, nature walks. We also got on with some work, we didn’t just do fun stuff all weekend, although the workshops we did were also so much fun. That’s the thing about YOP they make learning and work fun.
Throughout my time at YOP and on the YOPAB team it’s never really felt like work, it’s always been fun.
If you were to ask me about an achievement that I have made while at YOP the list would be endless. One thing that always comes to mind is when Rebecca approached me and asked if I would sit on the interview panel when we wanted to appoint someone to solely look over YOPAB.
The sense of respect that came with this was immense and the fact that I felt truly part of the bigger team. Through the entire process every word that I had to say about each candidate was taken fully on board and I am happy to say we all came together and agreed on the best man for the job. When you’re reading this, you might even find he is still on our team today.
We appointed Tom to be in charge of our crazy group of inspirational members. He is what we like to call ‘a diamond in the rough’ as well quote from the Disney movie Aladdin.
There was also the time throughout the initial lockdown of 2020 where the YOPAB team were asked to sit and evaluate each taster session of DigiTILS+. To be part of something so big within the company was a huge honour and sense of responsibility because we were looking at each session to see what needed changing to allow the team to truly deliver the best possible sessions they could over Zoom. I am happy to say that we all worked together as a team and it worked brilliantly.
I guess I would like to round this off really by saying that throughout my time at YOP and on the YOPAB team I have grow to find talents in myself I didn’t know I had, a stronger appreciation for the little things in life that keep our communities standing of their legs and that no matter how little of a suggestion you might have towards an idea, there is always someone at Your Own Place that will listen and try to make your idea a reality. They truly are a team with hearts bigger than they believe.
If you ever get to meet part of the YOP or YOPAB team in person or online you may never know how much hard work and behind the scenes work goes into everything we do, but we do it knowing we do it for our community to ensure we leave behind something better than what there once was.
Better yet if you find that you get the opportunity to join any one of the incredible teams then you’ll find qualities of yourself you never knew you had and how you’ll fit right in with the rest of the team.
They will see something special in you are make sure you use it to the best of your abilities and they won’t hold you back.