Young people from underrepresented ethnic groups from across London can get vital employment and life skills via a free mentoring programme run by 20/20 Change and supported by Virgin Media O2.
There are 50 spaces available for 20/20 Change’s ‘I AM CHANGE’ programme which begins in April – to help young people aged 17-30, specifically those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to discover and fulfil their potential.
The programme begins on Tuesday 19 April and will be held at Virgin Media O2’s offices in Hammersmith, West London. Applications close on 3 April and people can apply here.
‘I AM CHANGE’
The I AM CHANGE programme will be held over 10 weeks and includes weekly sessions on leadership and responsibility, success, motivation, and mindfulness, as well as practical tips such as CV writing, digital skills and managing finances.
The programme helps young people to change their mindset so they can focus on the life and career they really want.
Graduates of the programme have gone on to secure jobs in the fashion, banking, and personal services industries.
Virgin Media O2’s two-year partnership with 20/20 Change began in 2021 – spearheaded by its Enrich employee network for underrepresented ethnic groups and allies – to enable 400 people to take part in the I AM Change programme.
As part of its support of the organisation, Virgin Media O2 will also provide one-to-one mentoring and advice to give young people the tools they need to get their first step on the career ladder.
Duro Oye, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at 20/20 Change, said:
“Our partnership with Virgin Media O2 excites me because it will enable us to effect change on several levels; from the grassroots, engaging with young people and taking them through our programme and preparing them to enter the workforce, to Virgin Media O2’s Executive Team who are fully behind this partnership to help the company become a more inclusive and equitable employer.
“This partnership will go a long way in helping us achieve our goal of ensuring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented communities transition from education to employment smoothly, putting these individuals in good stead to go on and have successful and prosperous careers.”
Nisha Marwaha, Director of People Relations and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Virgin Media O2, said:
“We’re proud to support 20/20 Change’s transformational ‘I AM CHANGE’ programme which truly changes young people’s lives.
“The programme is providing young people with the skills and mindset so they can unlock their potential, setting them up for success for the future.”
Note to Editors
To help support Virgin Media O2’s ambition to become a more inclusive and equitable employer, 20/20 Change will also provide guidance on how the business can better support its people from underrepresented communities.
Angel Adjei, 24-years-old and from South Croydon, took part in the 20/20 Change programme in 2019. After completing the programme, Angel secured her dream job as a technical manager for a science laboratory company.
“I began the 20/20 programme in June 2019 with a desire to achieve great things and be successful, but not truly understanding the tools I needed to get there.
“I had graduated realising I didn’t want to pursue the career path connected to my degree and was really unsure of my next steps. This left me unhappy, unfulfilled and without purpose.
“The main thing 20/20 Change gave me was a perspective shift. “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” – this is one of the quotes we were given on the programme and it showed me I had to be intentional with everything I did if I wanted to truly be happy.
“My perception of success and how it was obtained was completely wrong and I was stuck in a cycle of procrastination. Constantly coming up with ideas but never really taking the steps needed to start them and using my perfectionism as an excuse for things never being ready.
“On the programme, we learnt that one can have many purposes and that achieving success is not only about getting to that one end goal, but recognising goals met at every stage of life and enjoying the journey. This allowed me to take a step back and appreciate how far I had come and instead of being stuck on how to achieve my wildest dreams, I focused on just taking it one step at a time.
“I reassessed my values and also learnt that making things happen for myself was my choice and determination needed to come from within. Failure in my situation was a choice and I could choose a different outcome through putting in some work.
“With those tools and many more, I was able to secure my first graduate role doing something I was truly passionate about and two years later, with further support from Duro and the 20/20 Change team, I now find myself in a job that perfectly blends my love for academia with my desire to bring change through innovation. When I look back on the last two years I can clearly see my growth as a person and clarity for my future.”