Finalist 2021

Joshua Wolfe

2021 Runner-up

Joshua always had big ambitions to be a fashion designer, but had a difficult start to life and had lacked the right support. He enrolled at the Grimsby Institute while living at the YMCA. Now, three years later, he’s following his dream to become a fashion designer and is a full-time student at Sheffield Hallam University.

It was at Grimsby Institute that I felt, for the first time, like my tutors took an interest in me. Until then, I’d been told that I wasn’t capable, but somewhere in the back of my mind I suppose I knew that with the right support and opportunities, I had a chance of achieving my dream.

One of the first steps on my journey was completing level 3 business and entrepreneurship, which I knew I’d need to understand how I could start my own clothing brand. Although I was focussing on just taking one step at a time, somewhere along the way my aspirations turned to getting into university and studying for a fashion degree.

My tutors at the Institute have been incredibly supportive – they believed in me and helped me to have more confidence in myself. It was through the Institute that I secured work experience at Ralph Lauren’s head office in London which helped me believe that higher education was an option.

Being a student has helped me to grow as a person and given me more stability in my mental health. I have learnt to believe in myself, the ideas I create and that I could really do something if I put my mind to it.

Reece, one of Joshua’s former teachers, said: “Through his hard work, determination, and clear sense of purpose, Joshua has turned any difficulties and negatives into positives. he has made sure that he has taken control of his story and is as determined as ever to show everyone that he can do it and with the right champions he will. He has inspired his teachers, his fellow students and our area as a whole.”