By the time he had reached the age of 15, Stephen Graham had been expelled from four different schools in London and was sent by his parents to live in Jamaica in the hope that he would change his behaviour and be able to complete his education. Shortly after he arrived Stephen began drug dealing, and then he started trafficking drugs between Jamaica and England, so that by the time he was 22, he found himself in a Jamaican jail serving 15 years for manslaughter.
Stephen is now a trained Peer Mentor providing support for young adults at risk. He works in schools and in the community targeting youths and young adults who are showing signs of anti-social activity and disruptive behaviour. He also works alongside public and private sector organisations helping young adults develop personal skills, build confidence, reduce anti-social behaviour and improve relationships. Stephen believes early intervention in the family unit is an effective way of improving outcomes for troubled teenagers, by helping parents and carers understand the issues faced by those in their care, so that they can be addressed and resolved together before they reach crisis point.
I would like to thank Mr Stephen Graham for his valuable contribution to our university event on ‘Guns, Gangs and Postcode Wars’… Stephen’s knowledge around these issues and his personal story has been inspirational to those who attended and I would therefore strongly recommend his services to educational institutions and community groups alike.
Dr Suzella Palmer – University of Bedfordshire
Stephen Graham has worked as a Specialist Gang Mentor since November 2016. As a specialist mentor, Stephen was focused on working with young people aged between 12-18 years, in danger of affiliating to or actively involved in gang lifestyle… Stephen was able to successfully make a positive impact on the lives of his mentees.
Yvonne Williams – Potential Mentoring CIC
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Young adult offenders often relate to those who have ‘walked in their shoes’, those who have the lived experience of the criminal justice system. The AP Foundation believe that the ex-offender community has an important role to play in resettlement and rehabilitation.
Arts, culture and media programmes are also an effective way of engaging difficult to engage young adult people in productive activities connected with their leisure interests, developing their vocational and transferable employment skills, boosting their employability and reducing re-offending.