Psychology Graduate is Helping Young People's Voices to be Heard in Worcestershire

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A University of Worcester graduate is helping young people in Worcestershire to get their voices heard.

Jade Russell, who graduated in November last year with an MSc in Applied Psychology, has secured a job as a Participation Development Support Worker with Worcestershire County Council. The role involves working with children in care councils and also with the Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament to help young people have an influence in decision making processes that affect their lives.

“I did my research dissertation around young people and making their voices heard,” said the 23-year-old former student at Queen Mary’s High School in Walsall. “Children always have decisions made for them rather than being part of that decision making process. I want to help change that and to empower young people, giving them the tools and the confidence to make themselves heard.”

Jade, who also completed her undergraduate degree, in Counselling Psychology, at Worcester, said her new role was challenging her to use the expertise acquired while at university.

“I would not be where I am now without the skills I learned while doing my Masters in Applied Psychology,” she said. “I think it definitely gave me the edge over other candidates in getting this job.”

Jade, who also now works at the University as specialist support tutor, studied for her Masters’ degree part time while working full-time with children with social and emotional behavioural difficulties. Her long-term aim is to become an Educational Psychologist.

“Making the decision to stay on after my undergraduate degree and study for a Masters was difficult, but it has been the best decision for me and my career,” she added. “I had lots of support from my tutors; the course was very flexible and allowed me to work at the same time as studying. I had the opportunity to work with academics in the Psychology department as well as the University’s Institute of Education, which gave me a good all-round experience.”

Dr Gabriela Misca, Course Leader for the MSc Applied Psychology, said: “Jade’s inspirational work, combining post-graduate study with relevant practice experience enabled her to secure a key position working with children and young people. We are immensely proud that one of our Master’s graduates is empowering the children of Worcestershire to be heard.”