Hannah’s story

I grew up in a council flat, and was the first person from my family to go to university.

I worked hard and I got good grades. Instead of being rewarded with an environment where people wanted me to succeed, there was this great sense of alienation and imposter syndrome. I got stuck in the mindset that I was inferior and taking up a space that didn’t belong to me. Eventually I dropped out of university altogether.

The Spear Programme came to me at a time when I did not see a future for myself; I didn’t see myself existing really. Right off the bat there was this sense of encouragement, this want for me to thrive. Speaking to my coach Becky, she really emphasised to me that I deserve respect. My comments were met with praise and affirmations, and I was encouraged not to apologise for making mistakes, and for being who I am.

Spear really helped me to challenge that negative voice and to empower myself; I recently signed up for university again for music journalism – which is a dream of mine I’ve been putting off because I didn’t think it was possible for me. Without my Spear coaches and the other trainees, I wouldn’t be where I am now and I wouldn’t be going back into education.

The Spear Programme has given me the chance to see a future and I’m really grateful for that.