Laine Esperanzate, 17, from Dagenham in Essex felt out of place and as though she didn’t belong in this world. She turned to The Prince's Trust Team programme to seek purpose in her life. 

Hating herself, she became isolated from other people, was totally reckless in her behaviour, she was uncomfortable in her sexuality and took drugs to try and fill a void. She was bullied and would spend her days on her own writing and drawing. The devastation of being turned away from her school GCSE art exam caused her to self-harm, led to thoughts of suicide and nine months as an inpatient at a young person’s psychiatric unit.

Laine tells us:

I know now the past is actually an important part of who I am, but I’ve now made important changes to my life, have passion about what I’m doing and am ready for the future.

Although terrified at first about having to work as part of a group, gradually with the support of staff and peers on the Team programme, she began to find her feet and rose to challenges such as being tasked with taking charge of an artwork activity. Realising that people were with her instead of against her, Laine soon started to think of ways to channel her creativity in order to build a future for herself.

Now working as a graphic design apprentice for a small SEO marketing firm, Laine has high hopes. She says:

Joining The Prince’s Trust was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m now a different person. The support I’ve had has given me a positive outlook on life, I’ve developed strong relationships and found the confidence to look and be the way I want to be.