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How Futures Online helped Frank get through the lockdown


Published: 26 November 2020

Belfast Met Futures graduate Frank Bozo, 19, from Belfast, has been busy planning his career goals since recently participating in the Futures EU PEACE IV project, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Futures Project is led by Belfast Met in partnership with Start 360, NI Housing Executive and Southern Regional College and works with local young people aged 16-24 years who are at risk of becoming excluded from educational or economic opportunities.

Frank started Futures Online in May 2020 amidst local restrictions due to COVID-19 after hearing a recommendation from his school that it would be a great experience, enhance his CV and give him something productive to do during lockdown.
Frank’s participation in Futures has had a really positive impact on his personal development and self- confidence. It has helped him to achieve his goals as he is now a 1st year student at Queens University studying Business Management.

Futures has provided personal development opportunities for over 600 disengaged young people since 2018 across Northern Ireland, by helping them gain new skills and become more aware of diversity and good relations in Northern Ireland so they can take up active roles in their local communities.

Jamie Maze, Futures Project Manager at Belfast Metropolitan College confirmed: “Futures Project has supported and empowered young people to transform their lives and the communities they live in, regardless of their backgrounds and life circumstances which have acted as barriers in the past. The participants have been given the support they need to build their self-confidence, as well as invaluable tools to set goals and take the steps to achieve their full potential.”

Frank talked about the benefits of taking part in the programme, “Futures helped me have better coping skills and time management which I am now using every day at university. I had been off school for a while and was definitely letting myself slip and Futures gave me a focus and a routine which I really needed.

“The programme helped my confidence and to overcome anxieties. I started to put myself forward to speak in front of the group and do presentations, and I learnt how to communicate and co-operate as part of a team. I really enjoyed meeting new people, including people from my school who I had never spoken to before. After a short time, we felt really comfortable with each other and are still in contact.

“Working and learning online is definitely different to sitting in a classroom. All of my University classes are now online, so completing Futures Online prepared me for this and I’m glad I had this experience.”

Frank’s general health and wellbeing, ability to cope with difficult situations and his happiness with education and work have markedly increased during the programme. He also achieved a Level 2 OCN NI qualification in Personal Success & Wellbeing at Belfast Met, and is one example of the many incredible young people who have worked hard to discover and shape their future.

Futures is currently operating online and is recruiting for a new programme in January 2021.

To find out more about joining Futures, please email [email protected]

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