My name is Dexter Hutchings, I am 17 years of age and have just started my role as marketing and digital communications executive apprentice at the Edge Foundation. I thoroughly enjoy all things technical and have a passion not only for social media, but for photography and videography. I was born in Epsom, Surrey and this is where I went through education. However, when I began my search for an apprenticeship I knew working in London would offer more opportunity.
When I started High School in 2010 I had a very positive view of the education system and the ambition and desire to go far in life. Academically I was just above average, but with a good work ethic I knew anything was possible. I worked hard , changed my behaviour and attitude, and started seeing a massive improvement in my grades, especially in science. Science was a crucial subject as my ambition was to become a vet. I went from being in the bottom set to the second set within six months. In year nine, when I had to choose my options, triple science stood out to me, however due to my recent set change this was denied. So I asked to complete tests to show my competence. I passed. I went ahead and chose art, computing, design & technology and triple science. My GCSE grades came back being just above the national average, but slightly below my predicted grades, which was very disappointing.
Summer 2015 was a massive life changer and may be the reason I am here today. After a fun night at an Ed Sheeran concert, I went home then flew to Toronto the following morning on a rugby tour. However two nights in to this trip I experienced a nocturnal seizure. I went to hospital and was diagnosed with epilepsy.
I continued my studies at my school’s sixth form - biology, chemistry, physics and an extended project qualification. However I never enjoyed it and slowly found myself falling behind and under attaining. This wasn’t helped by the later diagnosis of memory loss which is believed to be linked to my epilepsy. It didn’t take me long to realise A-levels were not for me, so after a few months I began my search for an apprenticeship. My search was unsuccessful and this led me to endure a long ten months in my sixth form. I was then offered a place in two colleges to study animal management so unenrolled from sixth form and worked full time at a farm called Hobbledown until I started college.
I expected college to be very hands on and practical, but was surprised when I got there this wasn’t the case, so I continued my search for an apprenticeship. During this time I stayed at college and continued to work at Hobbledown on Saturday, Sunday and most days during school holidays. I loved my job and after just over a year there was promoted to supervisor. After five months, I was offered an interview at 3aaa in regard to a digital marketing apprentice position at the Edge Foundation. After two interviews with Edge, I was lucky enough to be offered the position which has led me to where I am right now.
Throughout my education I have found myself being left resource less on many occasions. The sixth form made their views very clear that the path they wished students to follow was to attend university to get a degree. However, over time I realised success is what you make of it and you should never follow the path others set for you. As individuals it is important that we make our own decisions and pursue our own dreams. I highly value the work that the Edge Foundation does as I believe that with the correct resources and guidance, young people will see that there are many options apart from university and which may suit them better My journey has given me, not only a strong view, but has also made me the person I am now. Many people may think that I wasted over a year of my life, but I do not see it as this as it helped to find the correct path for me.