LEAP Project Celebrates Graduation of Inspiring Young People

Nine inspiring young people celebrated their graduation from a groundbreaking pilot project by Dundee & Angus College and Angus Council.

On Friday 14th June, the students who had previously found the conventional school environment challenging successfully graduated at a ceremony held at Arbroath Football Club. 

The initiative, known as the LEAP Project (Leading Learning for Employment and Progression), provides an alternative pathway into education and was launched last August to support young people to re-engage with education in their statutory final year of high school. 

The LEAP project has showcased the potential of innovative educational approaches by combining an informal learning environment with personalised support.  It has helped students to overcome significant challenges and emerge as confident learners.

Before the project, the young people’s attendance at school was very low but through the power of the project, their attendance has risen to 70 to 100%.

Every student who remained on the programme has achieved qualifications and is now moving on to positive destinations.    

Laura Dear, Local Employability Partnership Coordinator, said: “They have all developed into some fantastic young adults and are an amazing example of what anyone can accomplish if they really want to and are given the right environment to do it.

“To say that we are proud of them is a massive understatement and we all look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.”

The LEAP project has been a collaborative achievement. The initial weeks of the programme were testing but through the dedication and commitment from both LEAP and lecturing staff, the young people progressed and engaged in activities that once seemed out of reach. As well as overcoming barriers, students have spoken about forming friendships, building resilience and looking forward to the future.

Lily Yorke, a Student at Dundee & Angus College, said: “We are so thankful for the opportunity that we have been given and I am sure that our families are thankful too. They finally have a child that goes to education and enjoys it.

“Now we can finally take a step forward in our lives, I couldn’t be more proud of everyone and I am going to miss spending every day with them.”

Celebrations were made possible by the support of local businesses who came together to make it a night that the young people would not forget. A special thanks was given to Arbroath Football Club for the provision of the venue and Oath for Angus Business Network for collaborating with local businesses who were so generous in providing their services for the event.