Not many young women would quit their job in the midst of the recession to help people realise their potential and create their vision or think to enter a prison and work with offenders to try and change the course of their lives, but Avril Grant has done that and with great success.
Her robust belief in the potential of all people and in the importance of self belief also has led her to work with school and community groups, the unemployed and even those well along in their careers who want to get greater satisfaction out of their working lives. Sharing her story inspires others to believe in themselves - to be brave and pluck up the courage to turn their dreams into reality. She believes it is vital for individuals to find their passion and pathway and it starts with a vision to succeed.
Born in Birmingham into a Caribbean background in a single parent family, she went through the struggle of a broken community. However, she also had great luck in coming from a family that valued education and learning. She left sixth form to start university while working in accounts, but failed to finish her first year as Avril became a young mum. Even more determined to succeed, she returned to education to gain an accountancy technician qualification and worked for several years in accounts.
After no longer finding the work fulfilling and keen to do something that would be more purposeful and meaningful, Avril formed her community interest company, A Vision for Empowerment, to be able to deliver her motivating workshops and talks. Working with students, Avril helps them to develop their vision and goals – what they can believe in and aspire to and not necessarily one that parents or society are pressuring them to achieve.
Raising aspirations and self esteem inspires students to face life’s barriers with confidence. Avril has reached numerous people with her inspirational message and practical techniques to engender self belief and self empowerment.
"Avril Grant is a dynamic and inspiring business woman. Her enthusiasm for improvement and change is boundless. Working with Avril is an unforgettable experience, and leaves you charged up and ready for the next challenge.”– Michael Byrne, Business Advisor, Chamber of Commerce
"The girls have blossomed in confidence in the group and have been much more receptive in school lessons. They have developed a good rapport with their teacher. The 'A Vision' programme provided a safe haven for the girls to discuss and explore what makes a first class female and they all felt that the programme had a positive effect on their self-esteem. This course has had a very positive impact on those students lives and shown them self-belief and how to develop positive relationships. As a school we have benefited from this programme as we have seen young women helped and guided positively in their personal development. The programme has allowed space for students who felt vulnerable to be understood and stretched emotionally to accept positive reinforcement about themselves and their potential. I would be very keen for this to be repeated at King’s with another cohort of students. The personal development of young people and developing a positive mind set is critical to success and this is what First Class Female provides."– Mrs Fearnehough, Pastoral Leader, The King's CE School
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