Andrew Bowden

Youth Liaison Officer Yorkshire

I am the newly appointed Jon Egging Trust Youth Liaison Officer (JETLO) for our Yorkshire Blue Skies and Inspirational Outreach programmes. I feel the programmes truly inspire students to believe anything is possible and provide opportunities to have new experiences in life.

From a young age, I felt that education wasn’t the right fit and I struggled to find my feet at school. Yet within my life, I have been lucky to have a good support structure from family, friends and strong role models. All these people have taught me something I didn’t know about myself, whether that be my determination or my commitment. Without this support structure or help, I know I could easily be in a far worse position than I am, but because of these people, I have been able to excel in both my work life and family life with my wife Sally and my beautiful child. When not working, my time is spent trying to balance a busy family life against my hobbies of mountain biking, photography and swimming.

So why work for Jon Egging Trust? Well that is simple: I believe in it! I believe every child deserves a chance; how can we achieve greatness if we are not given the chance? With this programme and the help of all the team at JET, young people are given the tools and opportunities to succeed in life. I felt I found my stride at the age of 16 and I joined the working world where a dear friend looked after me and taught me the trade, but I wonder what I would have achieved if JET was around in my school when I was younger? What would meeting those inspirational people and having a mentor have done for me? I feel this is my chance to give back and help people that are lost at school like myself, to teach them that you can achieve anything you want, however sometimes you might just have to travel the longer path to do so.