Student testimonial: Amanda

Published

Amanda – former CoPE Level 3 student

In 2009, after more than a year of hard work and fundraising, 14 sixth formers travelled to Costa Rica to take part in an international support project. The team spent two weeks helping to build earthquake-proof housing for local families. This was the culmination of an 18-month project. 

One student, Amanda, raised £800 herself to take part in the project, as well as raising an additional £25,000 with the rest of the team. Unsurprisingly, this experience was the highlight of Amanda’s ASDAN studies. Her work on the project contributed to her ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness at Level 3, a qualification that develops skills in Problem Solving, Working with Others, Improving Own Learning and Performance, Research, Discussion and Oral Presentation. 

Amanda’s personal fundraising formed the basis of her Problem Solving unit. Her efforts included a sponsored abseil, and running a Toast Club in her school at break times. This has now been adopted by others in the school as a successful fundraising model.

As well as the Costa Rica project, Amanda also helped to organise a fashion show, gathering evidence for the CoPE Working with Others unit in the process. Her leadership skills and self-confidence grew as she contacted businesses and met with members of the Senior Leadership Team at her school.

Amanda believes that the accreditation she has gained through the ASDAN CoPE qualification has had a significant impact on her personal development, giving her opportunities to develop employability, study and life skills that she wouldn’t have otherwise grasped. These skills supported her other studies, and helped her to secure a role as a Textiles Technician in her gap year. She is starting university this year and believes CoPE helped her to get onto the University course of her choice: “The focus at all of my interviews was the Costa Rica Project and the Fashion Show. Having had to analyse my ability to work as part of a team and deal with real-life problems through CoPE’s ‘Plan, Do, Review’ process made it far easier to discuss these and quote examples at interview.”

Reflecting on how CoPE has improved her personal skills, Amanda said: “Fundraising and budgeting for Costa Rica was invaluable in helping me to set up in my own flat and manage my finances. CoPE has also prepared me to work independently and manage my time more effectively in the future. It was an excellent way to accredit the Costa Rica project, which was an incredible life experience.”