Charlene Cowan, our recently appointed Deputy CEO, has been with The Bytes Project for over six years. This makes her one of our longest serving members of current staff and she has seen a huge amount of change take place since joining us. She talks us through some of that below.
Charlene Cowan, Deputy CEO
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Charlene Cowan and I have worked at Bytes since January 2015, starting out as a Youth Development Officer on the New Directions Project, working with young offenders. I am currently in the role of Deputy CEO and oversee the operations side of the organisation.
What made you interested in Bytes in the first place?
I have always had a passion for working both with and for children & young people, starting my career in childcare working as a Team Leader in a Day Nursery, before moving into a Teaching & Learning Facilitator Role delivering specific Children and Young People Qualifications.
Alongside this full-time job at a training organisation, I also worked part-time as a Bail Support Mentor. I loved what I did and the sense of satisfaction from it when I saw the difference I made to the lives of the young people I worked with. Over time I realised that I wanted to do this kind of work full-time, so when a position working with young offenders came up at Bytes on the New Directions programme I jumped at the chance. I have been with Bytes for over six years now and have enjoyed every minute of it and the opportunities Bytes has provided for me to develop in my career.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love the flexibility of my job and the challenges and opportunities it brings. Every day is different and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the change that our youth work brings to the lives of young people.
How have you grown as an individual since starting with Bytes?
I started in Bytes as a Youth Worker, but with limited youth work experience. Over the years I have continued to develop, learn, train and educate myself, and this has opened opportunities for me to progress through multiple roles within Bytes to the position I am in now.
What has made you stay at Bytes?
I can honestly say I love both my job and Bytes as an organisation! The staff are second to none and their passion and commitment to supporting young people is admirable. I always want to remain part of that.