Ben was 17 when he sailed with Tenacious, here’s his life-changing story.
“Before the voyage I didn’t really do much with my life. I got in the cycle of laying in bed for the majority of the day then waking up at around 2pm – to still not do anything for the rest of the day.
I could tell my Mum was really disappointed that I dropped out of college. It was the most unmotivated I had ever been in my life. I wasn’t in any rush to get a job or start working – I was very lazy.
When I was told about the voyage I wasn’t fussed – I tried to act like I was but I just didn’t care about going. Everything after that feels really rushed – I was back in bed as usual and my Mum was trying to convince me to go. Eventually I got tired of her nagging me and gave in and said I would go.
Before I knew it I was on my way to the ship and it was at this point that I got really nervous before I flew. However, after arriving and finding the ship it was amazing!
I quickly figured out you have to socialise with people on the ship. Being on board was great but it was really talking to people and learning their stories that made the trip for me. It was amazing because for the first time in my life, everyone treated me like an adult. For example when I used to meet someone I would just look at them but on board I was greeted with a handshake – it’s the little things like that I enjoyed.
Another great thing I like about the ship is you get lots of time to think. Before I left I literally had no idea what I wanted to do in life – now I know exactly what I want to do (property development). I also got the idea to write my goals down so when I wake up I look at them and think in my head how I can get a step closer to achieving them each day. I have now broken down these into life goals and monthly goals. And I am on track to achieving these for this month.”
“My voyage has really changed me and motivated me. I have now gone back to college to study in my goal of becoming a property developer.”
Ben’s mums story
“Ben is a typical teenager. Despite getting good GCSE grades, he dropped out of his college course and thought about getting a job. He thought about it – but never actually did anything about it.
Very soon the lack of motivation took its toll. The endless conversations about ‘what are you going to do? Are you going back to college? When are you going to get a job?’ became repetitions.
After speaking to Moe at the JST, Ben decided to give the voyage a go. He flew to Gibraltar to meet Tenacious in Spain.
It really does sound like a cliché but when Ben went away he was still a boy, and he came back a man. When we met him back in the UK he even looked different!
Speaking to him on the way home was a revelation. He told us all about the voyage, told us about the variety of people he met (all ages and abilities) He had no choice but to communicate with everyone and really learnt about their lives and their experiences.
His voyage really did increase his confidence through a combination of teamwork, meeting new people, being given responsibility (steering the ship out of St Malo), given the chance to be in charge of the watches, happy hour and sailing – all of it! Ben then pulled out a notebook where he had written down his goals!
Since returning home he has been a different person. He helps around the house, has painted our charity shop, worked front of house in the shop – which he would never have done before!”
“Ben said that when he was on the ship and had nothing to do he just went and helped out in any way he could. This change alone has made the whole experience extremely worthwhile.”