19 Oct 2021

Skye: Empowered through Education Programme with Support from Staff and Peers

Skye is the first transgender student to have worked with the London Irish foundation on one of our education programmes delivered in Reading. Skye is 16 years old and lives with her mum. Skye, who is Transgender, had really struggled with mainstream education prior to joining the Foundation. Skye was bullied extensively at school and college and struggled to be accepted by her peers. Skye has  spoken with staff and her peers openly about her journey to becoming transgender and challenges she has faced.

Skye said “The programme has transformed me for the better.  It has given me the platform to overcome my fears of being accepted as a Transgender female, improved my interview skills, and helped get my first part time job.  I now have the confidence to pursue my dream job of becoming a Teaching Assistant”

Skye has expressed a real interest in becoming a Teaching Assistant that specialises in working with children who have additional needs.  Her younger brother struggles with learning at school, and Skye wants to take on a role where she can lead by example and provide support that unfortunately her brother has not received.  Education Officer Vicky Tzanetis, who worked with Skye, said ‘Skye was always willing to help fellow students on the course with the written work and understanding of tasks.  She had a natural “caring” aura and the other students found her very easy to talk to.”

Education Officer Vicky Tzanetis said “To be honest I was a little nervous about potentially saying the wrong thing, so as soon as possible I picked up the phone and we had a chat one-to-one.  We bonded very quickly, and Skye stood out as a born leader.  I was able to ask her to be a team leader for some activities and she rose to the challenge.”

 “At the start of the programme I didn’t know what direction I was going in or how to approach different situations,” said Skye. “Vicky has helped, not only point me in the right direction, but she’s given me different education and personal routes to take in life. I now take a step back and look at the bigger picture.”

If you would like to know more about the programme, please contact Vicky Tzanetis on Vicky.tzanetis@london-irish.com

The programme has transformed me for the better. It has given me the platform to overcome my fears of being accepted as a transgender female
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