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Building her skills and opportunities was something that Cherokee Jones was determined to do. She’s overcome many difficulties – as a child she went into care and moved around several foster homes before going to live with her grandparents. She says, “My life was a mess, I had so many things go wrong, I felt like I was fighting a losing battle with life.”

When Cherokee joined Educ8 on a placement as a receptionist, she was keen to develop, learn new skills and she searched for progression. After securing a part-time role with the Employability Team she now provides valuable support for learners, many who have gone through similar experiences to her own.

“The skills I have developed with Educ8 have given me motivation to do well, to be proud of me again and to have a better lifestyle for my children, it was a chance to do something good in work and still be a good mother.”

Becoming a mum at 19, she now brings up two children on her own – providing a stable and loving home for her family and at 21 she became a foster carer to a teenager. Despite financial and emotional hardships, her young family has been a key driver in her determination to build her skills to get into work.

Completing a range of training courses, including digital literacy, managing money and first aid has built her confidence and self-esteem.

Emily Simmons at Educ8 says, “her work is always outstanding, and she is able to bring her ideas to the team, she continues to grow in her knowledge and is able to draw on her own experiences to build relationships with new learners, quickly putting them at ease”.

Cherokee is accessing various training opportunities with Educ8, she is about to complete a Social Media Masterclass to improve her marketing skills. She has also completed training around Healthy Relationships and is now able to support the delivery of these sessions to 13–25 year olds.