Katy Stringer (1999 – 2002)

Alumna, Katy Stringer

Katy Stringer is a youth worker with DreamworX, our local youth project. She attended Denes High School from 1999 to 2002.

Here’s Katy’s story…

I was quite a live wire at school and very hyper. I did back-chat the teachers a little. However, most of the teachers liked me, and always found the time to help and support me through good times and bad. I had Mr Gascoigne as my form tutor and he was amazing. Always very funny and would always go out of his way to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Academically I was a bright girl. However, with my personality shining through, other aspects of life always seemed to come first in my priorities. I achieved quite a few goals in the last two years. My favourite subject was art with Mr Hills – he was an amazing teacher and allowed us all to flourish. I felt most at home in the art class. We had project work to go into Barclays Bank on London Road North to celebrate Lowestoft and its history and we even made the newspaper (me and two other pupils that I’m still good friends with, made the big picture)!

When I was in Year 11 I decided I really wanted to be an interior designer as I had recently decorated my own, and my mum and dad’s bedrooms. I had been told by friends and family that I had a talent for it, so I thought I could do that as a job. I left school and continued education on an art course at Lowestoft College, but due to personal circumstances I didn’t complete the course. However, Lowestoft College couldn’t get rid of me that easily… I joined a course, BTEC Diploma in Care, and thrived in placement, volunteering with Millennium Volunteers. I had found something I really enjoyed doing and I realised that I was a very people-orientated person.

I continued with my education with The Prince’s Trust 12-week team programme and became employed by them in 2005, where I found my passion for youth work and how good it felt to help others as I had been helped by my youth worker at Millennium Volunteers. I then received the Student of the Year 2005–06 award. This was an amazing achievement out of 8,000 students. Afterwards, I thrived in education and completed my A Level in Health & Social Care, and got high grades as I worked so hard even though I was pregnant through the first year and coping with my first child in the second.

I have now achieved a Diploma in Youth Work Level 3 and am still, at only 29 years old, continuing to better myself in education. I am currently in the second year of a degree in Supporting Including Learning Practice.

I’m very proud of my achievements, and Denes High School is where it all began. So if you ever feel low or unsupported talk to a teacher – they’re there to help and support you just like they did me. Even though I was challenging every step of the way, they never gave up on me.

I would like to thank one particular teacher, Mrs E Hicks. She was determined to get through to me, and tried telling me time and time again that I was worth something and that I could achieve anything I wanted (even though I didn’t listen at the time). She had faith in me. Thank you for what you did Mrs Hicks, you’re an amazing teacher.

December 2015

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