Hi there, I’m Sophia.
Learning & Development Manager, Customer & Local Services
Born and raised in Jersey, Sophia Campbell started her education at Westmount nursery before going to Rouge Bouillon School. Sophia then moved to JCG to begin her secondary education, which was a daunting experience as she was the only pupil who made the move across from her primary class.
During the first three months at JCG, it was established that Sophia has Dyslexia and went through her primary education without any additional support, which she subsequently received. Sophia was then accepted into Hautlieu School to complete her GCSEs and it was during this time that she realised her ideal learning environment was not the classroom, preferring a self-study style setting. Sophia’s first round GCSE grades were strong, including the highest grade in her science class, which led to the school giving Sophia permission to study from home with guidance from her tutors. Sophia then stayed on at Hautlieu to complete her A-Levels, but during her final exams the family home burnt down in a fire, leaving them homeless for a period with Sophia sleeping at friends’ houses. However, despite this setback Sophia completed her A-Levels with good grades.
Sophia is heavily into sports and at this time was Thai kickboxing training, daily, which led to her being accepted onto a sport performance degree course that was created for athletes. This progressed well until an old injury returned, which unfortunately meant Sophia had to drop out of the course. However, an interest in health and fitness remained and Sophia qualified as a personal trainer. This led to a period of working on cruise ships as a fitness instructor, however, the old injury returned and combined with long working hours, resulted in Sophia returning to Jersey unsure with what to do next. It was then whilst working as a temp in a recruitment agency, that Sophia learnt of a role in Social Security, as a Back to Work Coordinator. Sophia then transitioned into a project named ‘Get Ahead’, which was established to support people who are employed but are still receiving income support. It was during this time Sophia witnessed a trainer in action and realised this was her dream job, so she pursued this and is now acting up, working as a Learning & Development Manager within the department.
As someone who has achieved upward social mobility herself and is now working to help develop and support people in Jersey, Sophia can provide a balanced perspective on social mobility on the Island. Whilst Sophia believes that education is a contributory factor in social mobility, she does not believe it to be the primary factor. It is her opinion that having a strong family and support structure is most important, and comments that,
“if I did not have a strong family structure headed up by hard-working parents who always supported me, I may not have achieved”.
Looking at findings from her job, a common theme across Sophia’s clients is a lack of confidence, so anything that can be done to improve this in people is beneficial. Intervention from a young age is key and support and mentorship schemes are also important. Sophia is also in agreement with the government backed scheme that is providing support for people in difficult circumstances from the age of 14.
Lastly, Sophia is passionate about removing bias toward people by employers and in things like recruitment, the removal of school names, qualification levels, and gender may help to remove bias from the recruitment process, allowing the individual to be judged as a person.