Cheyenne Flowers, aged 20, struggled to settle in to mainstream education and suffered with social anxiety. After attending three different high schools and being home schooled for a period, her Mum decided maybe school wasn’t the path for her.
After speaking to Careers Wales, Cheyenne enrolled onto Cardiff FC Foundation’s Strikers Traineeship Programme – a 24-week course designed to engage with disadvantaged young people, gain vocational experiences and relevant qualifications – during this time Chey learnt about the range of educational courses on offer with the Bluebirds.
She said: “I didn’t want to go on the course initially as I was four stone heavier at the time and not particularly into sport.
“The Foundation staff convinced me that the course offered lots of opportunities and that they would support me to achieve what I wanted academically.”
Cheyenne has been studying with the Foundation ever since. She is currently in her second and final year of the BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and was named Head Girl in 2017.
As part of her development, Chey represented the Foundation at a number of events.
“Speaking in front of people used to be really hard for me, but I’ve been to Foundation Days, the Cardiff Lifestyle Awards and a charity ball in aid of the Foundation.
“I’ve spoken at all of these events so that’s helped me with my anxiety, I feel more confident.”
Cheyenne has now been with the foundation for three years, has a BTEC level 1 and 2 and is just finishing BTEC Level 3 sport, which is equivalent to three A levels.
The qualification includes sports psychology, event management, physiology, current issues and fitness.
With that, Cheyenne has a place to read criminology at Swansea University this September and hopes to work with young people when she graduates.
Following her experiences studying with the Foundation and the influence of the Foundation tutors, Chey would like to one day guide other young people through the Strikers Traineeship.
“When I finish my studies, I’d enjoy teaching the traineeship side of things because I was on the engagement course, so I’ve come all the way since then. I’d use my experiences help people who are in the same situation.”
To find out more about Cardiff City FC Foundation visit: https://www.cardiffcityfcfoundation.org.uk/