Croydon youngsters attend Crystal Palace FC for graduation ceremony
Street League’s Croydon Academy held its latest graduation ceremony at Crystal Palace Football Club this month.
The programme aims to help young adults aged between 16 and 25 find full-time employment and gain nationally-recognised qualifications, as well as getting to play football every day.
Three out of four young people who graduate from the Street League Academy programme move into employment and training.
Jacob Kelliot Campbell, 16, who was one of 14 people to graduate on September 6, said the academy helped him stay out of trouble. He is now starting a two year sports coaching course.
He said: “I used to have bad friends that were getting me into trouble with the police and I nearly went to jail.
“I came to Street League just to change, so I can get on with my life, and try to make it as a professional footballer. If I can’t do that, then I want to go into coaching.”
Another graduate, Michael Baker, 19, begins work at the Holiday Inn, in Croydon next week after completing the programme.
He said: “I wasn’t doing a lot before Street League, I left school and did nothing with myself, then the Job Centre told me about Street League and I have really enjoyed the experience.
“Now I have a job, so I would like to say thanks to Street League.”
Susan Biggs, chief executive of the Study Centre at Crystal Palace, which has supported Street League, said: “The young people have been learning ICT skills at our centre over the last year, and we also give them tours of the stadium.
“It’s great to see the transformation in them during the Street League Academy course.”
For more information on Street League visit www.streetleague.co.uk.