Black History month is always a time for reflection, contemplating the words of past historians, writers and thought leaders like Carter G. Woodson - the father of Black History Month. People ask the same questions - why do we celebrate Black History Month in February in the US, and October in the UK? When, and why, did it start?

Every year I like to write a piece in honour of Black History Month. This year, my story is about creating history based on what we do today and how that will become our future. This story is about Khloe - a young lady who joined Fidelity as an apprentice working in the travel team 2 years ago.

Collaborating with FIL’s key travel management company, TMC, we created an apprentice model designed to provide opportunities to young adults from under-represented and minority groups who couldn’t and/or didn’t want to go to university, but opted to start and develop their career with hands on experience instead. The model was implemented across various areas across the business, initially starting within Travel.

When I first met Khloe she was extremely shy, softly spoken and wouldn’t look you directly in the eye. However, in our early discussions, I realised that she had a real passion for learning and a desire to build a career in the travel industry. Our challenge was not only to give Khloe the knowledge and experience needed to follow this path, but also to help to build her confidence, motivation and to demonstrate that she could achieve anything she put her mind to.

The Apprentice model gave Khloe an overview of the travel industry in general, concentrating on air, accommodation, technology, operations and customer services, and the roles available within them.

Khloe successfully completed her 2 years, passing her operations exam and demonstrating her knowledge and skills through the course, which has ultimately led to her assuming a new role as a flight attendant for a major airline.

In Khloe’s own words - “This journey didn’t start off easy. However, with hard work, dedication and support from the travel team, I have made it to where I am today. This apprenticeship has taught me to stand up for what I believe in, develop my confidence and to seize opportunities rather than sit back and wait for them.”

Black History Month is not just about the past and not just to be celebrated once a year, but through the little things that we do for ourselves and others today, tomorrow and also in the future!

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