Case studies

Janelle Ayorinde

“I never thought I’d like it this much – but I loved it. I feel so much happier being in the water.”

Meet Jenelle, a 15-year-old from Birmingham who embarked on an unforgettable journey with UKSA. Her story, told through her own words, sheds light on the incredible experience she had during the Sea.Change Foundation Programme.

Growing up in Birmingham, Jenelle’s interest in sailing was sparked when she learned about UKSA through her school. “My teachers said it would be a great way to meet people, learn new things, and prepare for boarding school” she explained.

Before coming to UKSA, Jenelle had never been around boats or the water, so the idea of the Sea.Change programme made her feel both nervous and excited. “I was really nervous before we got on the ferry. My heart was racing when I saw everyone there” she recalled.

Jenelle’s outgoing nature helped her make friends quickly. “I’m a social person, so I asked a group of girls if I could join their UNO game, and now we’re friends” she said with a smile. Among all the fun activities, paddleboard running stood out for Jenelle. “Running on paddleboards from one end to the other was so much fun“.

Her time at UKSA wasn’t just about having fun though; she learned valuable life skills too. “I learned a lot during my time here – from sailing to swimming. Keeping eye contact and communicating clearly in a group are important. It’s okay to ask questions, and being yourself is a good thing” she shared.

What surprised Jenelle the most was how much she enjoyed being on the water. “I never thought I’d like it so much, but I really loved it. Being in the water makes me so happy” she admitted. As her UKSA experience came to an end, Jenelle started thinking about her future in a new way. “I’m thinking about working in maritime. One of the instructors told me about working on a yacht – it sounds fun and pays well. Travelling the world would be amazing“.

Jenelle wrapped up her story with a heartfelt thank you to UKSA and Edmiston for the incredible opportunity. The Sea.Change Foundation Programme not only introduced her to sailing but also opened doors to exciting possibilities.

Jenelle’s journey embodies UKSA’s mission to provide life-changing experiences, empowering young people like her with skills and passions that will last a lifetime. Through programmes like Sea.Change, UKSA continues to make waves of positive change.

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