Youth and Community Work has turned Katie’s life around

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Katie Biddick is a first year Youth and Community Work (Youth Justice) student. After a troubled childhood, Katie has managed to turn her life around. Katie is studying the course to build a better future for herself and her children. 

"I had a troubled time growing up. After my parents spilt up when she was 12, my mum remarried and I didn't get along with my stepdad. To deal with my frustrations I began hanging around with a bad crowd, getting into trouble and experimenting with drugs. I ended up in care and at the age of 16 I moved into a youth hostel. I then fell pregnant when I was 17.

After I gave birth to my daughter at 17, I had a whole new perspective on life and I knew I had to make changes. I took the leap and returned to college and later enrolled on the Youth and Community Work degree at USW. Alongside studying, I work as a Leader in Change for a youth club in Bristol, and run the South Gloucestershire Youth Board, helping young people inform policy making in their local area.

By making life changes, I have matured and am no longer the tearaway I used to be. I know more than anyone not to make assumptions and judge a person and their behaviour - there’s usually something deeper under the surface. I’ve worked hard to get where I am so far, and I love helping other young people make changes in their own lives.

Through my course and life experiences I’ve learned that becoming a youth worker means not making assumptions, being caring, compassionate, non-judgemental and having the ability to think outside the box. It also means being able to look past young people’s behaviour and having a desire to find out why they behave the way they do. Sometimes it can take time to get to the bottom of their issues before you can take steps to help them.  I was written off by teachers, social workers, family members and foster carers, so I feel extremely passionate about not doing the same to any young person that I work with.”