Kiss FM DJ and presenter, AJ King, led YMCA East London’s Discovery session with residents on Friday 28th November, 2014.
The session themed ‘passion vs success’ was a hit, leaving residents feeling inspired and ready to face their challenges.
Discovery sessions are a monthly feature of YMCA East London’s PACE (Practical Achievements in Creating Employment) programme. Each session is led by someone who has overcome barriers in their life to achieve success. The sessions are designed to inspire and motivate residents to persevere beyond their circumstances and reach their career goals.
Despite his rise to fame, AJ is still humbled by his experience climbing the turbulent ladder to success. The rising star revealed that his journey didn’t get off to a glamourous start – he too experienced homelessness. But despite his circumstances AJ was driven and relentlessly determined to make something of himself, and his attitude paid off; he landed a job in a bank. AJ recalled that, although he had secured a job, he still experienced struggles whilst making the transition from homelessness to full-time employment, an experience that resonates strongly with FYMCA residents who make the move from supported housing to independence.
Uninspired by a career in banking, AJ landed a part time voluntary job presenting at urban radio station, BANG Radio, where he gained radio experience. He then went on to study a foundation Degree in the Creative Industries at City University, focusing specifically on Community Radio & Television and Music Events Management. As his fan base at BANG radio grew, staff and fellow presenters at the station labelled him as ‘one to look out for’ – unknowingly predicting his success.
Unbeknown to AJ, success was just around the corner. In 2011 AJ entered the KISS Chosen Onecompetition, beating tens of thousands of other aspiring presenters to land his own show on one of the UK’s leading radio stations. Since then he has featured as one of the main presenters on Sky3/Pick TV’s ‘What’s up’ and landed international DJ and presenting gigs working alongside some of the world’s biggest artists and promoters.
Speaking at the Discovery Sessions, AJ advised, “In order to succeed you have to be adaptable, you have to be able to move in different settings. If you have a goal or a dream and you want it, you have to really want it – you have to eat, sleep and breath it!”.
PACE Manager, Ndidi Ansah, said, “AJ left the residents feeling up-beat and ready to take on their next challenge. He totally met the objective of the event; we were truly inspired! We thank AJ for his participation and hope to have him back again in the New Year so that more residents can draw from that positive pool of energy and fun that he exudes.”
AJ’s parting words to the residents were, “Be proud of who you are; be defined by how you respond to circumstances and not the circumstances themselves; and be excited about you.”
YMCA East London is looking for people like AJ who have triumphed over adversity to achieve their career goals – this can be in any field. If that’s you, then we’d love to hear from you. For more information about leading a session, please email email@example.com or call 0203 598 1539.