TEAGAN Condon is off to university in August and for a teenager who never enjoyed school, this is a huge turnaround.

As an 18-year-old who never dreamed she would follow an academic path, Teagan still can’t quite believe it.

She is one of the North Ayrshire Council Youth Work Modern Apprentices and has spent almost two years working with young people, many of whom were around her own age, within the community.

Now, she is taking the next step and heading off to Glasgow University to study for a degree in Community Learning and Development.

And for a girl who once hated school, she cannot wait to get started.

“I hated school and wasn’t sure about what to do,” said Teagan, who lives in Irvine.

“I saw an advert for an apprentice at the council and thought I would try for it.

"I didn’t tell anyone, not even my mum and it wasn’t until I had got the job and she dropped me off at Redburn Community Hub that I told her.”

During her apprenticeship Teagan has enjoyed working with youth groups and decided that this is the career path she is going to follow.

She said: “Working with the groups within the Irvine community has been great and I have learned so much, I never ever thought I would be going to university.”

Apprentice Megan Dolan, 17, had a similar experience to Teagan at school but has thrown herself into her apprenticeship.

She is currently helping run two groups in North Ayrshire – the Basketball who meet at Fullarton and the SWANS group for Syrian people who are new to the area.

“I find working with the different groups really interesting and rewarding and our basketball has grown and grown, sometimes we have 20 young people all playing, even in the rain,” said Megan.

“We recently started a group for people who had moved here from Syria and we hosted a barbecue to get to know them, we are now working on a pilot project of activities for them.”

“I would recommend a modern apprentice to anyone who has an interest in their community and the young people they should think about going into youth work.

“It’s a good foundation to start with and you learn a lot that can lead to a lot of different careers.”