Hi, my name is Freya Owen, and I am thrilled to announce that I am one of the 2023 Roosevelt Scholars. I am also an Accredited Life Coach, Mentor and Safeguarding Practitioner.
I have lived, studied, and worked in Nottinghamshire all my life. Currently, I work for Think Forward UK as a Progression Coach. ThinkForward is a charity that works to empower young people in Nottingham and across the UK through long-term coaching in the school setting. We equip young people with the skills and experience they need to move into work or further education after they finish school.
Before that, I worked for Redthread (NHS) in Accident and Emergency supporting young people who were victims of serious violence in our city and county. I am deeply passionate about the lives of those young adults I met, their stories and their struggle to get the support they needed.
My work as a Roosevelt Scholar will see me exploring the United States response to young adults (18+) who are attempting to exit street violence.
Youth violence is a public health issue, one that has serious, often lifelong, impact on a person’s physical, psychological, and social functioning. During my time in America, I will be visiting organisations of best practice where I hope to exchange ideas and gain a greater understanding about youth violence and the interventions that exist in the US. I plan to travel to New York, Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago, LA and San Francisco. In these places, I plan to visit innovative organisations and universities that specialise in the prevention of youth violence as well as meet the young adults who have benefitted from these systems. I hope to implement some of what I learn from these interventions within my local community on my return.
My long-term dream, however, has always been to set up my own charity. A safe space for young people, which offers free coaching/counselling and advice and guidance. I want there to be more accessible spaces for young people to be provided with the right support, with people who are knowledgeable about local services and the rights of young adults and their legal entitlements. The power is in knowing, and so many of the young adults I meet, do not know how to get to their next step, don’t know how to keep themselves safe. For many, they feel they have no options. I am a firm believer, that the risk to young people does not decrease because they turn eighteen and so I want to understand other ways this vulnerable group can be supported in America.
I cannot wait to grow my own knowledge and understanding as a practitioner but also as a human being and what this experience will give to me personally. I can’t put into words how excited I am to embark on this journey, meet new people, immerse myself in new communities and gain fresh perspectives. Most importantly, I cannot wait to give back to the City/County that I love.