A few years ago Elijah Thompson, like a number of 16 year olds found himself at a crossroads. Unsure which direction to take after not achieving the GCSE results he hoped for Elijah was worried he couldn’t achieve academically. He then began a science based course at Solihull College & University Centre before realising he’d like to shift his focus towards photography.
From a young age Elijah had been passionate about taking pictures, prompting him to look towards photography as a career. Spending a summer building a portfolio and capitalising on some fantastic opportunities, he then met with a college tutor to discuss a place on a media course. He was given a chance on the course providing he did maths and English in addition to the level 3 media course he wanted to be enrolled on.
For Black History Month 2016, Elijah’s concert photography was exhibited in BMAG (Birmingham Museum and Arts Gallery), he set up his own website, and he was a participant on an Erasmus Plus Photography programme in Portugal with other young aspiring photographers from several EU countries.
Starting with the media department in September 2016 Elijah hasn’t looked back since, progressing in leaps and bounds in character, work ethic and confidence.
Elijah’s results reflect his amazing progress. He passed his first year level 3 course with merit, passed his functional skills in maths and gained a ‘c’ in his English GCSE. He completed a Princes Trust ‘Exploring Enterprise’ course that had to be started and completed before enrolling back at college, recently submitting the work for a level 2 qualification. He also had his first public speaking experience as a panellist talking about his journey as a photographer.
The future looks bright for Elijah. He has been invited to join international Jazz player, Courtney Pine, as his photographer at The Jazz and Lime Tour as part of the St Kitts Music Festival in June 2018. Following on from his first public speaking as a panellist he has been invited to speak to children at King Solomon Secondary School on photography as part of their enrichment programme.
Raising Elijah in a one parent family, his mother Sharon is extremely proud of her son, stating; ‘The College has helped with his confidence 10 fold, he genuinely enjoys studying and is more proactive in his photography. I’m so proud. This is a true reflection of what investing in young people can help to achieve’.
For his part Elijah is similarly appreciative of his mother, ‘Mom always said I could do anything if I just put my mind to it. My mum is a massive inspiration to me. She’s always worked hard for everything in her life and she’s instilled that work ethic in me.”
To see some of Elijah’s work, visit his website at www.elijahthompson.co.uk
Find out more about Solihull College & University Centre’s Media courses.