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Careers Week 2022 | James Douglas

Gary Seath 2 years ago

Education Support Funding

Forces Children Scotland is working in partnership with Skills Development Scotland for Scottish Careers Week (07-11 November 2022), which is about helping people of all ages explore, understand, and manage their career choices, and the services and resources available to support them.

We have reached out to young people from armed forces and veteran families to put a series of case studies together to learn more about how their unique experiences can impact their pathway toward positive futures, compared to civilian peers.

Better still, we find out what they feel should be done to help peers overcome challenges, and how getting involved with Forces Children Scotland has helped to develop new skills and build confidence in order to dream big when it comes to career choices.

Next up is James Douglas.

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be?

“The three words I chose are Inspired, innovative, and easygoing.”

Can you tell us a little about your family background – are you from an armed forces or veteran family? How is life different, compared to your civilian friends?

“My father was a Major in the British Army, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He is no longer able to work or drive, and for the first few months, struggled to walk, talk, and play any sort of game. I envied civilian friends watching them playfight with their fathers, go on fun trips, and pop to the shops in the car.

“However, it was an opportunity to grow and mature from an early age. I say thanks to the bad deal of cards dealt as I seek no pity but see the light in what my cards have taught me.”

We’re doing case studies to celebrate Careers Week – can you tell us a little about your university, college, or apprenticeship course? Where and what are you studying & how are things going?

“I am studying Business Management at the University of Dundee. The subject does not matter, nor the university or location, it’s the ability to create a rich network of good people with the same interests which makes university great.

“You can learn so much from both text and people. But the fact that you have 4 years to meet thousands of people and pick a few as your friends to take into the professional world is what makes it worth it. All too often, it’s whom you know not what you know.

“I am not sure what I want to do in the future. I want to do it all. I reckon I will look for a job and go for the first opportunity that presents itself in front of me. I think I will find what I like and what I want to do when I’m not looking for it. I’ll just stumble into it by mistake.”

Has Forces Children Scotland helped you to shape your positive future? What would you say to other young people from armed forces and veteran families who could benefit from our support to shape their own positive future?

“Forces Children Scotland allowed me to concentrate on my studies and future. There is no reason you shouldn’t reach out to the charity because it can support students in many ways. If you want to do well at Uni and from an armed forces or veteran family, then get involved!”

What are some of the things which prevent young people from armed forces and veteran families from dreaming big & shaping a positive future right now? Better still, how do we make things better?

“Financial pressures can prove a challenge and, thankfully, Forces Children Scotland helped to take much of it off my shoulders.

“It enabled me to find my feet, focus on my studies, and develop friendships – all of which have equal importance when you think about gaining a broader university experience and qualifications to pursue a future on your own terms.”

Want to know more about how Forces Children Scotland can support children and young people from armed forces and veteran families to overcome unique challenges to education and learning?
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