A Rothesay Academy pupil who has turned his life around with help from youth charity The Prince’s Trust, has won a prestigious royal award.
Sixteen-year-old Michael Mitchell was just one of three people nominated for the ISSOS International Educational Achiever of the Year Award at The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards held in Glasgow, on Thursday, november 27.
This year was the tenth anniversary of The Trust’s annual awards, which have recognised the achievements of young people in Scotland for the last decade.
Michael’s problem with authority saw him labelled as a troublemaker. He fought, drank and was regularly in trouble with the law. His negative attitude carried over at school. Other pupils began distancing themselves and teachers became worried by his poor attendance. Then Michael joined an xl club; his negativity stopped, his school work improved and he discovered a passion for youth work.
When Michael joined the Prince’s Trust xl programme, which builds the confidence and motivation of pupils who are struggling at school, his self esteem was so low he thought everyone was against him and rebelled at every opportunity. At xl, however, it was different. Michael warmed to the informal approach to learning and stopped worrying about how his anger would be perceived.
Michael said: “I thought everyone was against me but xl helped me to see that I was wrong. No one judged me— they just tried to help.”
Speaking after receiving his award, Michael said: “I was shocked to win, I’m still shaking. It’s amazing to have won, I feel so proud of myself and of everyone who has helped me. I want to become a youth worker, and thanks to The Prince’s Trust my future feels a lot brighter and I feel a lot more confident.”