Karen Cruise – Chief Executive

I was born and grew up in Chapeltown, Leeds, where back in the 1960s & 70s you were stereotyped as a black child for all the wrong reasons. I was told I wasn’t clever enough to get my GCSE’s and therefore left school without any qualifications. I found a job in social housing and with great support and mentoring from my managers I worked my way up from being a junior member of staff to become a Senior Manager for one of the largest Housing Associations in Yorkshire at the time. During my experience in the corporate world, I ended up going to university and gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honours) and sat my GCSEs aged 52, which I passed with flying colours. After leaving my corporate job I decided to follow my dreams of working with young people and became a qualified life coach – supporting children and young people to reach their potential and find their strengths. I now own two successful companies. The latest one is Flourished Minds, which is now an award winning Social Enterprise working with children internationally. After just 20 months in operation we have grown from one member of staff to nine, been awarded over £80,000 of public money to work with young people in schools, colleges and universities, offering them individual life coaching and helping them to realise their dreams – just like I did! Our sole purpose is to shine a light on young people’s brilliance and help them see just how much talent and ability they have regardless of their background, ethnicity or experiences. It’s quite literally the best ‘job’ in the world.

Sectors worked in and routes taken:

Social Housing

Corporate career working up to Senior Leadership Level

What I would like to get involved in

Inspirational talk

Mentoring / Coaching young people

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