My name is Chloe Joseph and I am 28 years old. Yep 28 – nearly 30!
I’m sharing my story in the hope that someone will be encouraged and know that it is never too late to go for what you want.
I grew up in a single parent home and after junior school, I went to live abroad with my grandma. This wasn’t because I was bad and had to be shipped off, but because I didn’t have a secondary school to go to due to my SATS results.
After a few years in the States, going to school and making friendships, I had to come back to the UK. I ended up finding a secondary school in North West London. I’m not the most academic person, but I have always been a trier and have never given up. I say that because I did not get the best GCSE results. In fact I have one GCSE pass mark (C) in art, and the rest well, are a fail. But nevertheless, I went on to college. I was so determined to make something of myself. Not getting good GCSE results meant that I had to go to college because I knew I wanted a good job and I still had a chance of making something of myself.
When I was 17 years old, life took a turn. I had a great deal of growing up to do because my mum decided to immigrate to the Caribbean and I didn’t want to go. So I stayed with relatives for some time and then I went off to live on my own. During this, I was working part time and going to college. It was a very big responsibility but taught me many of the life skills I have today.
I later went into full-time employment. I worked in administration, worked as a sales assistant, and a receptionist for the NHS community midwives department. I even managed to do an evening course.
One day walked into work t find out I was unemployed. Becoming jobless with no warning was devastating! I didn’t know what to do. I went down to the job centre and signed on. If you know anything about the job centre, then you know they are not the easiest people to deal with at the best of times. After a year of looking I found nothing, so I volunteered at the local summer Metropolitan youth project for four weeks. It led me to doing a full-time college course in social and community work and I did extra volunteer work for a well-known charity called Kids Company. For a year, I volunteered with them for 16 hours a week before becoming a full-time Key worker. I was responsible for after school activities, workshops, summer residentials, home visits, school meetings, and attended countless meetings with the local authorities to get support for the families I worked with. I also gained more qualifications.
One particular Wednesday morning, I went to work and by 5pm that evening I was unemployed. Just like that. The job I had for three years was just pulled from under my feet.
I felt like my identity had left me. I was anxious and full of worry I sat with tears running down my face wondering how was I going to pay my bills. I was afraid I wouldn’t get another job as I heard rumours that certain authorities didn’t want to hire anyone who had worked for that particular charity.
This past year has not been the easiest transition. I’ve had a few jobs but nothing permanent or long term. With many jobs, I didn’t make it past the application process.
I spoke with my mentor and she was blunt and to the point. She told me: “Maybe the reason you don’t have a job is because you need to go back to studying”
I always thought university would be too much for me. I’m dyslexic and always thought I would never pass. But that conversation ran over in my mind. I looked up courses in my line of work and was instantly attracted to the therapeutic psychology degree course at Roehampton University. I just knew it was for me. I went through the relevant application procedures and to my surprise, I received an email within two weeks offering me a space on the course. In three years time, I plan to do a masters degree.
As you can see there is a theme running through my story – change and separation. But in all God has had my back, and I have made it through as a living testimony of hope.
Be inspired and know that know matter what, you can make it.
“God knows the difference between process and purpose. Your process is not your purpose.” - Bishop T.D. Jakes
Chloe is a fun loving person who is passionate about empowering and encouraging others to not give up and to have hope. She loves God and young people, and wants to see all succeed and reach their full potential. Of herself Chloe says "I never thought I would be the person I am today, but I thank God for moulding me and giving me purpose and I just want everyone to find theirs and take the world by storm.”
Find and Follow Chloe on: