Meet our employees: five minutes with programme manager Femi
The Challenge values its employees and the teams dedicated to helping us achieve our vision of creating a more integrated society. We regularly grab five minutes of their time to highlight different roles and give you an insight into what it’s like to work for us.
Femi Awoyemi is a programme associate manager covering Enfield and Haringey. He originally studied accountancy and finance at university, but found working with young people so fulfilling when worked for a youth charity before joining The Challenge in 2017.
A typical working day is…
“My day starts with checking everything that has happened overnight with the teams on the ground, especially residential teams. I visit them so there’s lots of travelling, but I need to know how things are going. I also check that all our paperwork and registrations are filled out and that our systems are up-to-date. I need to know action plans are in place and being followed.
I judge whether we need to bring in additional support from learning behaviour specialists or a mentor to help a young person.
I speak with parents too, as they sometimes have requests. We now have a bigger focus on developing a sense of civic duty in the young people, so parents also benefit from their child taking part.”
My favourite thing about my job is…
“I enjoy seeing the young people in action. I see them when they first get together at the kick off point. I’ve had a few instances of young people being anxious at that early stage in the programme – they’re not keen to go, are worried about making friends, and are quiet and nervous. I then see their journey, and their confidence growing through all the new experiences. They’ll tell me all about their new friends, and you literally see them coming out on the other side – that is definitely the most enjoyable thing!”
The thing I find most challenging about my job is…
“The fact that you can’t be everywhere at once, so you have to prioritise depending on what’s needed. From that perspective it’s important to empower staff too, so they can deal with anything on the ground appropriately and ease situations. They step in to help a young person feeling overwhelmed or stressed and needing a bit of extra support.”
When I’m not working…
“I’m with friends and family, and before my daughter arrived in August there was football and the gym too. She’s now taking all my attention, but seeing her putting on weight and smiling is making the lack of sleep worthwhile.”
What is your favourite quote?
“There is a quote that struck a chord with me, working for The Challenge:
“It’s not about me, it’s about the sacrifice I make for you to fulfil the bigger picture, which is us.”