People’s Stories

My First Day At Paragon

Posted 12:00PM on Wednesday 18 November 2015

Hi, I’m Ryan and I’ve been living in my own home with support from Positive Futures’ Crescent Supported Living Service since 2012.

I’m 21 and I love computers and technology. I can often be found surfing the web or watching music videos and movies. My favourite film is Scarface.

A while back I spoke to my Support Workers, Terry and Rosie, as I really wanted to learn more about using computers and the programs on them. I know Terry and Rosie really well and I trust them.

With their support I looked into a training programme called Paragon Training NI based in west Belfast. Paragon is an organisation that provides training and employment services to the local community. I wasn’t sure if I would have the confidence to go on a course but Terry and Rosie and the rest of my staff team helped me. I had to take big steps if I wanted to follow my dreams. And I did!

I made an appointment to go and visit Paragon and speak with a member of staff there, Jolene. Jolene was a happy and upbeat person. This made me feel happy and excited about attending. She gave me a tour of the building – it felt like it had good energy; I liked it.

Jolene asked me what I was into and what I would like to learn. Together we decided that I would enjoy studying IT. I was very excited about starting the IT course. The night before I started I prepared my packed lunch and my qualification folder. I washed and organised my clothes – I chose my jeans, a shirt and jumper because I wanted to look my best. I set my alarm for 7:30am. I was full of excitement.

On the morning of my first day my taxi arrived on time. The taxi driver was very nice and we talked about football, boxing and women… My friends call me Casanova!

I had a great first morning at Paragon – I had to complete a Maths and English test. I found this quite hard as I have not studied since leaving school at 18. I was very pleased to find out that I had done very well in both tests! I was then given the opportunity to ask questions about IT and the staff asked me about what I would like to learn.

When the session was over I was feeling really happy and confident so I got the bus to Positive Futures’ York Road office by myself as I was very excited to tell my support staff about my day! I never thought I would be able to get the bus by myself but, with Positive Futures help, anything is possible!

I’m really looking forward to the next class.