Ryan, who has just turned 18, said he wasn’t really focused on his school work and had no real high career aspirations in his early years.
But he was in the first year of the heralded ‘Your Future Your Choice’ project – which won an East Lancashire Newspaper Career Aspiration award.
Assistant Head Teacher Ms Bacon started this scheme and it involves Year 10 students spending a week at Burnley College focused on CV writing, meeting prospective employers, having interviews and visiting colleges and universities.
Ryan said this scheme helped to turn his life around, so much so he was recommended to Oxford University and now wants to be a lawyer.
Ryan said: “I was given a mentor as part of ‘Your Future, Your Choice’ project,” said Ryan. “She suggested I should attend an open day at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form.
“I went along on her advice and I really enjoyed it – I would never have gone there without her as I had never heard of it.
“My favourite subject before this was Resistant Materials and I would have just gone onto college with my mates, done something with that and just carried on down that path.
“It was when I took on board that the choices I made would affect my future that I realised I could really get somewhere if I knuckled down.
“I stopped getting into trouble, worked hard, did the extra sessions, the Period 6s, and left Shuttleworth College with 10 GCSEs.
“I feel that one careers event changed my life and took me in a whole different direction. I am taking Law, Sociology and RE A-Levels now.
“I would never have dreamt that, aged 11, I would be hoping to become a lawyer. I was selected to go and have a look around Oxford University and am hoping to study Law at maybe Lancaster or Leeds.”