New Youth and Community students look to future success

Date 9.03.2021

Students of a new University Social Care programme are just a few weeks into their studies but are already thinking about where the degree will take them.

The MA in Youth and Community Leadership saw its first intake of 17 students start their course in January. The course runs over 12 months and by the end students will be adept at meeting the contemporary challenges of youth and community leadership.

Here, we spoke with two of the newest recruits to see why they signed up for our MA and what it has to offer budding youth and community professionals:

Nalolo (‘Lolo’) Sikhota (pictured)

“I’m not actually new to the University of Northampton; I am a graduate of the Social Care and Community Development degree here. I enjoyed lessons so much, I found it difficult after I left to not be learning anymore! I had a job, but I felt there was more to me than just that.

“Having worked in retail for 16 years, I knew I needed a career change and not just a career that had monetary benefits, but one that would have significant personal rewards and fulfilment. I believe in making a difference in the community as well as young people’s lives while making this choice. So, I looked no further than considering a career in Youth and Community Leadership.

“I have experience of youth work through the church I attend and see the benefits to young people of the schemes we run. If just organising activities to occupy and engage them from one church can help, then imagine if this support was enhanced throughout the community, whether they are part of a religious community or not.

“As new as starting the MA is, I am already finding it interesting and am getting excited about learning more. It’s a very diverse course, there is so much you can do with it in terms of working with young people.”

Rachel Johnson

“I come from a background that is a million miles away from what I’m studying for at the moment – the theatre. Studying to work in social care is something I have fallen into…but it is proving to be the happiest and most fulfilling of accidents.

“I work a few hours a week as a youth support worker at a local authority where I run a friendship group for young girls. They are really struggling during lockdown with not having social interaction and making friends and having relationships. Some of the girls have sexuality issues, such as coming out to their families. I see first-hand, each week, how even something as relatively small as this one group is so needed and can have such a big and immediate impact.

“I’m really interested in pursuing how to develop my leadership skills to better support roles such as the one I have. I am really lucky that my employer is supporting me to study for the MA; I have one day from them dedicated toward my studies and, in fact, it was my manager who recommended the University MA to me.

“As someone who has struggled academically in the past, I never thought I’d be able to do a MA. I was so nervous about starting is as the last time I was at university was 10 years ago.

“But, seeing the level of support from University of Northampton, talking to the tutors, seeing how helpful and understanding they are, seeing they are human, made me feel I can do this, that my time was now.”

Find out more about the MA in Youth and Community Leadership on our course page.