From the age of 10, I wanted to study Law. My inspiration derived from the sharply-dressed lawyers on the 80’s American TV series LA Law.

During my GCSEs and selecting a college to attend, I realised my dream of becoming a lawyer was no longer the career path I wanted to pursue. I can recall flicking through different college prospectuses hoping to find an alternative.

I recall not receiving any guidance or knowing anyone who could relate to what I was going through. I felt pressured as most of my friends had their career paths mapped out and sensed they felt I should know which area of interest my future lies, but I didn’t…It really knocked my confidence.

Althea Blake

As a mum of two, I didn’t want those feelings of dread to affect my children, which was one of the reasons I started three years ago to empower teenagers and young adults to build confidence and raise aspirations which ultimately will aid in their self-discovery and achievements, irrespective of which path they decide to pursue in the future. Our aim is to encourage them to pursue their goals.

Group of young people in a ROOTSPOD workshop

My business and profession are in digital project management. As the founder of a management consultancy company, I work with organisations as a project consultant to help them realise their digital business ambitions. I have had the opportunity to work with young people over the years, and I’ve seen a pattern of increased anxiety from students in school as well as those leaving school with few or no qualifications. In addition, those leaving university after successfully achieving a degree, yet unable to secure employment. Ultimately, this has had a negative impact on their self-esteem and motivation.

Group of young people in a ROOTSPOD workshop

ROOTS POD Academy uses entrepreneurship as a vehicle to build confidence, focus and improve communication skills of 14 to 24-year-olds through engaging workshops.

With my determination to help young people achieve success in life, I endeavoured to connect and collaborate with business owners for their expertise in their own field, who have facilitated and shared practical activities and their own experiences through our interactive 45 minutes workshops, which are currently free for young people to attend.

Group of young people in a ROOTSPOD workshop

Participants attend through curiosity about starting a business or are uncertain about the type of business they would like and leave enthusiastically with more confidence than when they arrived.

Maria Student 15

“I found this workshop very useful as it taught me the basics to start my own business and what I need to be aware of before starting it. It was also extremely motivational as we were shown different groups of people who started a business. Overall, it was a really great experience and I would love to be able to attend another workshop.”

I am currently collating a database of business owners who think they could offer valuable support to these budding entrepreneurs. If you are interested in:

  • having a one-off call to answer questions about your own career journey and your profession
  • offering 1-2 weeks of work experience
  • facilitating a 45-minutes workshop

Please contact Althea Blake, Founder of ROOTS POD Academy by email:

The next ROOTS POD Academy course will be run at Harlow College in October half-term. You can find out more and register on the ROOTS POD Academy website