Marginalised young people from across Manchester are now able to express their feelings through poetry, thanks to Young Identity. Using poetry, prose and performance to expose young people’s issues, Young Identity aims to enhance their employment prospects and boost their good behaviour.
Isiah, 19, who joined Young Identity five years ago, loved English but found the classroom a difficult place to learn. "I was taught poetry at Young Identity before I was taught it in education," he says. "Even though I loved English, I did not like school. But Young Identity did not feel like being taught strictly like in school, even though I was learning a lot. It taught me to listen and not be negative about what people might say about what I was doing. It's definitely helped my English and literacy massively. When I was learning the metaphors and similes in Year Seven, I already knew about them from Young Identity. English is now my favourite lesson!"
Through Young Identity, Isiah performed on a CBeebies programme, and was paid by the BBC as a commissioned poet. "I felt great - I definitely haven't done that at school! I felt really appreciated. I felt that I accomplished something. I felt that I was valued."
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