Connor, 16 years old from Sheffield, Yorkshire was eight when he was excluded from mainstream education. He was sent to a new school but his attitude was so negative, he was at risk of being excluded from  school again.

At the age of 14, Connor became a young carer for his severely disabled brother and also started attending the xl programme, an initiative from The Prince’s Trust that improves the confidence and skills of young people who are struggling at school.
Connor’s attitude shifted dramatically during xl; he matured from an overly pessimistic and uncertain student into a confident, able young man with an appetite for learning. He worked well independently and in groups and became a mentor for young students.

Connor says:

I hated school. I couldn’t see the point. I nearly always played up.

The following year, Connor and his family experienced a tragic loss as his brother passed away.  Connor handled this with magnanimous stoicism and immersed himself in his education. That year, he went on to sit eight GCSEs and often asked for extra work. His maturity was commented on by OFSTED inspectors and his sensible and empathetic attitude saw him elected to the school council.

Connor says:

I couldn’t be bothered with school before, but the xl programme helped me see what I am good at and showed me how to apply that to my school work and eventually my  career. It gave me ambition and now I’m going to college. I’m very grateful for the opportunity xl gave me and am a better person because of it.

Humble and gracious, Connor’s journey through xl has been metamorphic. He now has a solid foundation for his future and is about to study childcare at college with a view to becoming a childcare assistant.