Since the age of six, Jonah has wanted to be a writer, and this desire to explore his own creativity saw him join City College Plymouth to study for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology.
“The course was everything I was looking for,” Jonah, a former pupil of All Saints Academy Plymouth, explained. “It was particularly appealing because my grades would be based on the quality of the coursework I produced.”
Jonah said the best thing about the College for him was the teaching staff. He said: “The lecturers were simply outstanding: it felt very personal. You are encouraged to explore your ideas and, as long as they aren’t offensive or inappropriate, the lecturers will listen to you, offer you advice; but never once did they patronise us or talk down to us.”
Whilst Jonah has been set on writing fiction for a long time, he said he liked being able to explore the other areas of media. Creative media production covers all aspects of the industry, from TV and film, and learning the technical skills to work in this area, to writing for print, social media and online and much more.
Jonah said: “We got to make music videos, podcasts – I remember making a documentary about mental health – so many different things. I was also given the opportunity to be a volunteer theatre reviewer at the Theatre Royal. Not only did I love being able to write about the shows, but this will also look great on my CV and allows me to continue to build my profile as a writer.
“The College also supported me in taking up an amazing internship with Imployable – these are opportunities I just wouldn’t have been given at sixth form. I loved how this course allowed us to figure out what we liked and – just as importantly – what we didn’t like.”
As a transgender man, Jonah said it was also an environment where he felt accepted by his peers and supported by his teachers. Jonah explained: “My lecturers were always sensitive to me and never gave me any less respect than I deserved. Staff make it clear that any form of racism, homophobia or transphobia is not accepted at the College; and this isn’t just a lot of talk, they genuinely wanted everyone to feel safe and accepted.
“Friends are one thing, but knowing the College was supportive is outstanding. Chris Matic and Clint Jones were particularly supportive – they are “those teachers” who I will remember for years to come: I will always be thankful to them.”
Jonah is now enjoying the next stage of his pursuit in becoming a writer of LGBTQ+ fiction, having accepted a place to study creative writing at the University of Plymouth, and is also considering exploring performing arts.
“I haven’t looked back since joining the College. If you are considering studying media at City College, I would wholly encourage you to do it. The experience I had at City College is like no other.”