The life-transforming impact of Glenalmond buraries for young people is powerfully highlighted in this article written for The Chronicle by our former pupil, Ryan Bromilow.
OG Ryan Bromilow (Skrine’s, 2015-17) attended Glenalmond after being offered a place through the Royal National Springboard Foundation, which gives life-changing opportunities to vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Since this article was written for The Chronicle by Ryan, he has been appointed as Partnership Programme Officer with Springboard and says he is very proud to work for the charity which has given him such invaluable support.
I am filled with joy when I recall my memories of Glenalmond. Only this weekend I was listening to the Drama department’s recording of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Perth Concert Hall. There I was reciting every lyric, performing every tune - it was as simple as rolling the clock back to a time when life was not so challenging.
A different landscape, of course, to the new confusing, unpredictable world that is now before us. One month ago, I secured my first journalism post as a news reporter at the Daily Express, ready to moved into a spacious apartment in Bayswater with a clear vision of the next five years of my career.
Then my job was axed due to Coronavirus-related cuts. I lost my shiny new apartment and was plunged back into the murky waters of job hunting. Yet I am one of the fortunate ones. Coll taught me it is not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters. Boarding school is all about building resilience for a busy pace of life, adapting to new challenges and being optimistic that something extra special is awaiting around the corner, even in such a competitive market.
Yesterday, I realised just how competitive the new world is. I was reading an article about a recent job position where a hotel in Manchester had advertised for a receptionist post. The hotel anticipated 30 candidates would apply for the vacancy but, within 24 hours, 963 people had registered their interest. Job hunters ranged from restaurant general managers to generally over-qualified applicants and it is a clear sign of the tough times that lie ahead. But I view this precarious period as an opportunity to reaffirm my passion and commitment to the work I love and reflect on the experiences that have shaped me as an individual.
After all, I was never supposed to live this lifestyle, I have been parachuted into an environment that breeds success. Since studying at Glenalmond, I have been able to shift my aspirations, achievements and expectations of life. At Coll, I was blessed with a rich experience and every moment felt worthwhile. I played Jesus in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, captained the College football team, was involved in debating and film societies, took music lessons and was treated to a banquet morning, noon and supper.
Before I went to Glenalmond, I lost 30 minutes a lesson to behavioural issues, came home to a PlayStation and I’ll let you into a little secret, I hadn’t even tasted fish. Last week, I graduated from City University of London with a 2.1 in Journalism. I was the first Bromilow to have gone to University and although I’m very proud of that, it indicates the gap. Royal Springboard labels these bursaries “life transforming”.
These opportunities open the mind to new academic and social experiences. Because life before was about survival, living on chicken dippers and chips three or four times a week. It may sound extreme but that’s the truth. At Glenalmond, I was free to thrive and live a luxurious life with amazing, intelligent individuals who brought a different perspective to each conversation.
To take part, or support, in our #Challenge175 for life-changing bursaries click here
To view The Chronicle article click here.