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Why I’ve created a new game-changing platform for youth engagement

by Graham Sykes,

Posted on the 27/06/2019

It was during a conversation with a group of students in 2008 that I realised that my chosen career was no longer just a job but a crusade.

I was delivering a research project that involved speaking to a range of young people from different economic backgrounds. It was during one of the sessions with a class of Year 10’s (14/15 year olds in old money), in a school located in what is described as a ‘deprived community’, that I realised that this group were one or two years ‘behind’ students in schools in more affluent areas.

This wasn’t just academically. It was how they behaved, how they communicated, their levels of confidence, and importantly – their aspirations & outlook on life. Through no fault of their own they were already behind in life.

Around the same time, I had my second child, and this further made me question what future awaits young people as they get older.

From that point on, I made it my mission to ‘maximise the potential of teens and young adults’. I set up Fourteen19® and over the last ten years I have helped companies promote their opportunities to young people, advised Government commssions, as well as provide numerous unique mentoring and employment experiences.

During the summer of 2018 I started writing a book that would be a guide to young people transitioning into adulthood – containing the key information that they need to reach their ideal life destination. I’m pleased to say that DESTINATION ADULTHOOD will be published on the 2nd of September.

As I was writting, I was conscious that many young people would find reading a book challenging – especially those who would have the most to benefit from its content. The solution to this this was to extend the content online and create an inclusive site where information could be provided in multiple formats for users to choose which was best for them.

So with my agency team and a group of young people, we started to build a platform that would collate a variety of content (films, stories, peer-case studies, articles, surveys, competitions etc) in one place. That place will be Destination.org.uk

The final piece of the puzzle was to make the site self-sufficient. With twenty-five years of youth engagement expertise is was a simple task to integrate a client function into the site. In doing so we have enabled brands and organisations with beneficial products and services to directly engage with young people seeking life-improving solutions.

Oh, and we have decided to run it all though our social enterprise Fourteen19 Social CIC so that all the profit can be reinvested in maximising the potential of young people.
If you think you would be interested in discussing how your brand or organisation could get involved or you would like a copy of our presentation deck please send me a message or give me a call on 01422 250070.

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