To say that my time with Villiers Park has been a journey would be an understatement. Since joining the programme in Year 12, I’ve changed and grown in so many ways - academically, personally, and socially. Throughout this period, I’ve been supported by Villiers Park in ways I couldn’t imagine. It’s given me amazing opportunities to learn and develop interests and curiosity, and ultimately helped me to become who I am.
The Future Leaders programme has given me a great foundation for my future; it’s allowed me to talk to people in ways I had never been able to do so before. Without Villiers Park I would not have the skills to talk publicly without fear. But I think the biggest thing Villiers Park has given me is the confidence to be myself and the support to follow my dreams.
I have been writing and illustrating since my early teens and have self-published a number of books. I think I always knew I wanted to follow one of these paths academically, and Villiers Park has been nothing but supportive. I was thrilled to get offers from four Russell Group universities, and I started my degree in English Literature at Edinburgh in October 2022.
Being a young trans person can add an extra layer of complexity to growing up. It entails a lot of big choices and can often feel very isolating. Because of Villiers Park’s support, I felt empowered to create a Leadership Challenge project which brings my experiences as a trans person together with my love of books. My poster helps signpost others to diverse and underrepresented identities in literature and film. It's so important for Young LGBTQ+ people to see themselves represented. Our lives and stories are important and deserve to be told. I've also written a book about gender identity which answers some of the questions others may have about what it means to be non-binary, gender-queer or trans.
I’ll definitely keep in touch with Villiers Park. I hope I can use my experiences as a Future Leader to help others in some way.