Read Jason’s Story
Jason is an avatar developed from thousands of previous learners, for the new Avatar Learner Journey©. An online self-assessment tool helping you to generate an achievable learning and development plan.
“I had a troubled upbringing, Mam an alcoholic, Dad knocking her around, my little sister went into care and I was sent to live with lots of foster parents. Things never got better, in fact it got worse. I was bunking off school and running away from foster homes, never settling down.
I use to do some running with drugs for some older boys; they paid me in drugs, so eventually I got hooked on stuff. I also got to know how to deal and that’s how my drug dealing got started. I also got into stealing and burglaries from commercial premises to obtain goods I could sell on to pay for drugs. This is my fourth time in prison, I will be homeless on release, my girlfriend has given me an ultimatum, either I stop dealing and get a job, and look after her and my daughter or she won’t have me back and I will be back to dealing as that’s all I know.
I don’t have a chance in the job market, I am not really good at writing things down, and I have an injury to my leg after falling off a warehouse roof and have persistent headaches as well. I can’t concentrate. Then I met these guys. They got me to work on my life story; through something they called an avatar. I began to see the real me and started to learn what I needed to do to turn the corner and try to beat the disabilities I face, emotional, social, physical.
I learnt through working in digital workshops that I could change my mind-set and transform my experience into expertise. I have learnt new skills that I never knew I had but which could be good for an employer. I know about antiques now and have a work placement to go to in an auction. I know I can do what they are looking for.
I now know I can do lots of things they might need. I can restore old furniture. I know how to interpret markings on antiques – I learnt how to do that myself in the library. I even know all about antiques from other countries, it is really interesting.
Looking back I believe that professionals sometimes get it wrong. They want to do the best for you but they often overlook your motivation and don’t have a method to measure it anyway. They don’t feel good when you drop out or don’t achieve the objectives they set for you, they feel exasperated, they have got much to learn as well; They need to deal with their clients motivation and make an effort to help a person’s self determination to succeed by helping to make their journey more productive.
I think the avatar self-assessment method is good as it’s like looking in a mirror rather than putting themselves on the line with others who might use what they hear against you. I found learning to change through scenario methods and approaches related to my experience and interests was captivating and became my motivation to achieve personal goals.
When I think back, I believe working at my pace and using my use of language along with a peer mentor/supporter who had ‘walked in the shoes’ of someone like me was really engaging no matter what place I was in.
These are the reasons that I was able to unlearn some of the things that led me to prison and to realise that I did have potential and could work to transform my experience onto a new found expertise that gives me real hope for a new future”.
If you want to know more about Jason’s story or the Avatar Learner Journey©, contact us today.