For Elliot, TLG was a fresh start. Having been excluded from several schools, Elliot expected TLG to be just the same as everywhere else. But here, everything changed.
“School was a complete nightmare,” says Elliot. “Not only for me but for the teachers and the students I was working with. I always got into trouble. I got into quite a few fights.”
Elliot found himself at a TLG Education Centre having been excluded from another school. Very quickly he realised that there was something quite different about TLG. “When I came to TLG it was such a friendly place I didn’t like it all! Even when you tried to have a go at the teachers they were always there with a bright smile.”
It was the kindness of staff at TLG that made the biggest difference in Elliot’s life.
“They treated me like a real human. Instead of kicking me out of class, which just made me feel horrible about myself, they sat me down and had a real conversation with me. I love them all. My behaviour is far greater than what it used to be. I don’t get into fights. I’ve got more respect for teachers. I don’t get angry as easily. In fact, I don’t get angry at all because I know how to deal with situations thanks to TLG.”
Because of his progress and because staff noticed his leadership potential, Elliot was offered the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Ghana with a group from TLG. Through community outreach through local churches and visiting Ghanaian schools, the trip gave Elliot and the group the chance to discover what life is really like for others in world. It had a profound impact on Elliot.
“I've learned that we have everything and they have virtually nothing. We take it all for granted and don't really care. They all seem happy and don't complain. It's mad.”
Before going to Ghana, Elliot was bowled over during his fundraising endeavours. With one thousand pounds to fundraise, his TLG teachers suggested he asked the partner church to give money. Certain that they wouldn’t want to support him, Elliot shrugged it off but allowed the team to ask on his behalf. He couldn’t believe it the following Monday when staff informed him that that Sunday the church had raised hundreds of pounds for him to be able to go.
The change that he’s gone through during his time at TLG is immense and has enabled him to successfully transition to college where he is studying construction and engineering.
“It’s a new me. It’s a new Elliot.”