Rianna says she wishes she’d known about The Prince’s Trust a long time ago. She was on Universal Credit, trying to find work, whilst trying to finish university, find somewhere to live to avoid being homeless, and all in the middle of a pandemic.

If I’d known more about the opportunities at The Prince’s Trust, I would have got involved a long time ago! I was looking for personal development courses while I looked for work, and I took part in the Get Started with Photography course, and then progressed onto a leadership course delivered by The Prince’s Trust and Flying Start XP and an evening school in partnership with The Financial Times.

Rianna studied Psychology at the University of Kent, and now works at a tech company in their marketing team. Despite being confined to her house because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she enjoyed taking part in the Get Started with Photography course.

“It was a good break from the world at the moment and helped develop my creativity. I had to find things indoors to capture, and to look at differently. I’ve been able to transfer the creative skills from the course into my filmmaking.”

During her final year at university, Rianna’s grandmother passed away and she found she struggled to find the motivation to carry on with her studies. She did complete her degree, but channelled her energy into her film project and it helped to have extra motivation from the photography course.

I have set up an organisation called the Dominica Dementia Foundation and I’m currently crowdfunding for my film, Dementia the Island Journey. After the photography course, I was able to find a mentor through The Prince’s Trust, who is a filmmaker himself. He has been so helpful and has even visited the production site when we were in Shoreditch and Brixton filming for the crowdfunding trailer.

Rianna has also gained leadership, communication and networking skills from the other programmes she has completed with The Prince’s Trust and has met new people that can help her on her career journey.

“At the Financial Times evening school, I was able to get media and marketing experience, and I was able to share my views on breaking the stigma of diversity within the media sector. It was so helpful. I’m passionate about breaking the stigma of ageism within the media – the language we use can affect thoughts and behaviours. I learnt so much that will help my film project and the foundation.”

Rianna also attended the launch of the Kickstart scheme, and is passionate about facilitating opportunities for other young people. Her workplace has applied to the Kickstart scheme and is hoping to be successful.

I am excited for the future. At the moment, I’m working to keep the film project going despite Covid-19 restrictions, and building a sustainable foundation as I would love the Dominica Dementia Foundation to grow and create a long-term impact. We’re the only dementia organisation in the Dominican Republic so it’s essential work.

Rianna would really recommend The Prince’s Trust to any other young people looking to upskill or build confidence.

“It’s an investment in yourself – just go for it! The virtual course takes off the pressure and it will build your confidence. It’s a relaxed environment and you make so many new connections and learn