Niah, February 2022
Following a successful time on the Supported Internship programme, Niah now works part time for Sense College Loughborough.
Niah started at Sense in September 2017, on the Further Education programme. When Niah first arrived, she was very quiet, lacked confidence and was unable to ask for what she wanted or needed. When working with others she wasn't able to speak up and share her ideas or have the confidence to move forward with a task.
Niah was provided with emotional support when she needed it, she was also able to talk to the college's counsellor. Being in a friendly college environment, gradually Niah felt more at ease speaking up and started to make friends. As her confidence flourished she also started to support others. While celebrating Europe as part of the college's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme, Niah helped lead the discussion on who was going to do what, choosing to take on an IT role, preparing a PowerPoint presentation, as well as presenting for a recorded video.
Niah then progressed to the college's Supported Internship programme; a work based education programme. This was great progression for Niah, marking another step forward in her confidence. This gave her a range of administration based work experiences. Through the pandemic Niah completed administrative roles, throughout the college, including on reception.
In her final review meeting, Niah was able to confidently articulate that she wanted to work and do so in an office environment. Anna, one of the tutors at college who had worked closely with Niah, was amazed at how much she had matured and how assertive and positive she was, compared to when she first started.
In July 2021 a job for an Administrator was advertised in college. Niah applied, got an interview and was then successful in getting the job. Niah is a capable and competent member of the team and is doing a fabulous job. It has been amazing to see Niah transform from a quiet and unconfident student to a confident and able member of staff, and everyone at the college is very proud of her achievement.
Niah said "the staff are really friendly. There is always lots to do and I'm always on my feet but I look forward to every day as no two days are the same. When I first found out I got the Admin job, I instantly told my parents who were elated for me. After that I emailed my tutor and work placement officer to say a huge thank you for helping me over the past few years. I feel I have achieved a lot at Sense College as I've gone from being a student to an actual colleague."
Niah's parents have also commented on how proud they are of her and her achievements.
"They say when something bad happens it can either destroy you, define you or strengthen you. Niah has proved this in every way. The positivity and determination Niah displayed when she lost her sight at 15, speaks volumes about her strength. Niah is living proof that you can achieve anything even with a disability, getting this job proves this. We are extremely proud of Niah, she has really overcome difficulties when others would have given up."