The fifth week of ‘Proud to be Blue’ provides an inside look into Everton Free School and Sixth Form College.
Growing up as a boy, Zack Kelly went through a number of issues at home which resulted in him struggling at school because he was weighed down by personal problems.
Aged 12, Zack was put into care and started running away on numerous occasions and often getting into trouble at school resulting in him being sent home and he freely admits that his future didn’t look good before conversations started taking place about him joining Everton Free School.
“The first day I joined was like a breath of fresh air. Although I was new the students were so nice and the teachers were dead welcoming. I knew if I had any worries then I could talk to people; my life really started to turn around.”
Zack soon found himself flourishing at Everton Free School and he was making the most of the fantastic opportunities available to him which all resulted in really positive things such as coaching, meeting players, interviewing Everton legends and attending games at Goodison Park.
“I was getting the best opportunities that I thought kids my age could only dream of.”
In November 2014 Zack was sworn in as one of 12 Young Lord Mayors representing secondary schools across the city and attended a special ceremony at the Town Hall where he was honoured and given his prestigious title. The role of Young Lord Mayor gives young people the opportunity to voice their opinions and discuss and raise awareness of the issues affecting Liverpool’s young people as well as shadowing the Lord Mayor at events across the city.
“As Young Lord Mayor my confidence has really shot up."
Everton Free School has a number of elected Captains who serve as ambassadors and are on hand to assist with any issues their fellow students might have. Last year Zack was named as Captain for the whole school and at the 2013/14 End of Season Awards was announced as Everton Free School Captain of the Year and presented with his trophy on stage by James McCarthy and Gareth Barry.
“At Everton Free School I get given more responsibility which has helped me to grow as a person. My person proves that whatever your background, whatever path you once had is not important; once you put your mind to it you can do anything you want to do.”
Now aged 16, Zack has recently completed his GCSEs with Everton Free School and gained many other qualifications such as Level One Sports Leader Award as well as Level One and Two in both Preparation for Working Life and Personal Social Education. Going forwards Zack is now being supported by the Breathing Space Project and hopes to join Everton Traineeship in September before undertaking an Apprenticeship with Everton in the Community.
To help Everton in the Community continue to deliver life-changing opportunities to help more people like Zack click here.