Things started to go badly for Mariah* very soon after she started university.

“I had a terrible year and was feeling lost. I spent years learning science, thinking that it was what I loved, only to find out at university that I didn’t enjoy it and didn’t want to have a career in that field.”

Isolated and unhappy, her mental health began to deteriorate, resulting in being treated for depression and withdrawing from her course. Social mobility charity LTSB helps young people from under-represented backgrounds to find meaningful careers in major firms. Often this support takes the form of rebuilding confidence, and creating an environment where young people can recover and recommit to their future. Funding from ICAP Charity Day means that LTSB can establish long- standing relationships to take a young person from their worst moment to greatest success.

It was an opportunity that came at the right time for Mariah.

“My experience at Uni was the worst year of my life. I was told that university would be the greatest 3 years of my life only for it to be the complete opposite. LTSB offered me hope that I can have a decent future. I was looking for a career that I would find interesting and after hearing about what the LTSB  program entails – particularly learning soft skills alongside a recognised qualification – I thought I would give it a chance.”

LTSB’s support takes the form of a dedicated member of staff, an assigned mentor, and a range of committed, highly-skilled team members happy to pick up the phone whenever a young person is in need. The tangibility of that commitment allows many to focus on what they can do, and not what they can’t.

“LTSB’s belief in my ability to really helped me. I am extremely hard on myself and I tend to second guess myself a lot, even when I am doing well. Their faith in me gave me strength even when I didn’t have faith in myself.”

And that faith was repaid when she found a role with a supportive employer.

“My first day in a professional setting was…interesting. I was very nervous! There was a lot of information being tossed my way and I was floundering trying to catch as much as possible. But LTSB provided me with a strong foundation that I can use to build the life that I want to live. I now have an income of my own, I am getting the qualifications need and despite having a few hiccups here and there, I am much happier overall!”

*All names in this case study have been changed to protect the identity of the young person. The featured picture is Nathan Agyekum, LTSB Programme Manager.