A TEENAGER who thought he was on the path to jail or worse has thanked the Prince’s Trust and his college for helping him to turn his life around.
Robin Bembridge from Tring admits he used to be a tearaway, but now he is in line for the Educational Achiever Award at The Prince’s Trust and L’Oréal Paris Celebrate Success Awards.
The ceremony at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge on Monday honours the achievements of disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.
Robin joined The Prince’s Trust xl club, which helps young people who are struggling at school, after he failed to achieve at Tring School last year.
He spent a lot of time caring for his disabled father by doing household chores but suffered from dyslexia and ADHD, and his parents getting divorced added to his frustrations.
“He said: “At school I was swearing and starting fights and was hardly there for half the year because of the amount of suspensions I had.
“It’s not something I’m proud of but I’ve turned around since then with the aid of good tutors, Julia Wilcox from West Herts College and Andy Jenkins from The Prince’s Trust.”
Robin left Tring School and spent three days a week doing college work and two days studying with The Princes Trust at West Herts College in Hemel Hempstead and he achieved C grades in GCSE English and maths.
He said: “I’m proud of myself for completing the courses because everything I’d ever done related to education before that had turned out to be a flop.”
“This time around I was happy because my tutors were people I could rely on and talk to.
“The course gave me something to focus on when I had a lot of things going on in my life.
“The Prince’s Trust helped me through that by giving me something to aspire to and to achieve and they never looked down on me, patronised me or treated me as if I was just another tearaway.”
Back on the straight and narrow, the 16-year-old has completed a two-year construction course and is studying to be a carpenter.
He is also working on a Duke of Edinburgh Award.
He said: “Before joining the xl club my future was hazy and everyone thought I would get killed or end up in jail, but now I’m looking at becoming a carpenter and starting my own business one day.”