Stories from participants

A project at Time 4 Your Future is a journey of discovery of getting to know yourself, meeting people and learning new things. Here you can read the stories of participants about how they experienced their T4YF project.

Jasmijn (voluntary work)

“You learn a lot from it and this will also have results later on in your work because you already have more experience in this field.”

I started my 2nd year of school in September and also started Time 4 Your Future. We started with three training courses: 1. connecting communication, 2. presenting yourself and 3. giving and receiving constructive feedback. The best training for me was giving and receiving feedback, this is also very important in any work area. But I benefited most from the training about presenting yourself. I find it quite difficult and exciting to, for example, present in class or go to a job interview. That is why it is so nice that Time 4 Your Future provides training in this. You learn a lot from it.

Other than that I think it is a very nice project. It took me some time to find a place to do volunteer work. But ever since I found this, I really like it. I now volunteer at the Odensehuis De Linde in Delft. This is a home for people with dementia where they can decide for themselves whether they want to visit. The Odensehuis organizes activities such as: walking past old buildings in Delft, baking apple pie and, for example, doing crafts. For the rest, they can play games, have a nice chat and of course drink a cup of coffee or tea. Without Time 4 Your Future, as a young person I would not have started volunteering so quickly. I am now very happy that I made this choice. You give people a nice day or help them with something, you gain more work experience and it looks good on your resume.

Jack (voluntary work)

“I actually quickly reached my 80 hours”

I did my volunteer work at the Poptahof on behalf of Delft voor Elkaar. At the Poptahof there is a meeting place for local residents where a neighbourhood team of professionals works. It’s important that there are such initiatives at different levels, so local residents help each other and there are also care providers who can support local residents and refer them to the right place. I have made a nice combination of building the meeting place with conversations with local residents. I really enjoyed doing it, I learned a lot and met a lot of new people. I would advise T4YF to other young people: you will have a good time, meet new people and learn new things. It is good for your work ethic and it also keeps you fit for the next adventure that comes your way.

Elke (voluntary work)

“I have learned that I can work quite well with children!”

I have learned a lot in the past few months. The “presenting yourself” training course was especially interesting. Applying for a job is actually quite a difficult experience and I notice that as an autistic person I find this even more difficult. I sometimes still have to learn social rules that are self-evident for neurotypical people. This course has taught me a lot. I did my volunteer work at the Delft Holiday Activities, 80 hours in two weeks! I learned there that I can work quite well with children and also how to indicate boundaries. If you want to make a social contribution, but don’t know how to start, I highly recommend T4YF! They helped me enormously with the courses and with looking for volunteer work.

Beaudine (projects)

“I have gained more work experience through this project and I have also been able to experience what it is like to work with other target groups”

I came to Time 4 Your Future through my school. We started with three training sessions. I found the most enjoyable training was constructive feedback because it helped me the most. During this training I learned how to give and receive feedback without having bad intentions. I found all the training courses very educational and I think everyone can benefit from it and you can apply it in several places.

After the training, I started my 80 hours of (social) volunteer work in several places of my own choosing. One of these was at Geuzenhonk. I have done activities here with children. At one point, unfortunately, it was no longer possible due to the lockdown because the location had to close.

In order to reach my 80 hours, I looked for extra volunteer work. I was also already doing an internship and I deliberately chose a different target group than my internship. I started working at Cardia Elderly Care. If I hadn’t done this project, I don’t think I would ever have volunteered. This project gave me more work experience and I was also able to experience what it is like to work with other target groups. As a result, I discovered that I also really enjoy caring for the elderly and I have now also got a job from it.

Because I had some delays in my process, I also started working on the Time 4 Your Future podcast with a classmate. The first episode was made by two previous participants and we are now making the second episode. This allowed me to work extra hours and it was also very educational. I had never done anything like this before and it is also out of my comfort zone.

I recommend Time 4 Your Future to other young people because it looks good on your resume, you can gain a lot of work experience and you can also find out what you like to do.

Jaimy (voluntary work)

“I am very grateful to T4YF for the great opportunities and the educational lessons.”

In 2022, I was introduced to Time 4 Your Future during my school years. We were given interesting masterclasses and then assigned to do 80 hours of volunteer work. I thought this was a great initiative because otherwise I would not have done this on my own.

I immediately started looking for a volunteer position and ended up at Youz. Youz is a location with all kinds of departments where children from 6 to 23 years old can be admitted clinically as well as outpatiently. The children/young adults are often admitted internally with complaints such as: trauma, attachment problems, ADHD, autism, depression and suicidality. This location appealed to me because I enjoy working with children and I was looking for more of a challenge when it comes to connecting with children with these problems. Not only that appealed to me, but also being able to learn more about the psychiatric side of mental health care seemed interesting to me.

After my intake, I started in the De Schuit department, which at the time was a clinical department with children from 6 to 12 years old. The problems ranged from autism to trauma. The first few days I didn’t really know what to expect, but I quickly found my place with great colleagues and lovely children. I was given the task of doing 1-on-1 activities with a child every Tuesday. We often went shopping and baked or cooked something for dinner. The children seemed to enjoy this very much.

After a few weeks of volunteering, I couldn’t let go of work and became more motivated to fight for a place as an intern on the Youz site. However, this seemed impossible because I had an MBO education and not a HBO education. After many emails and regular rejection, my classmate and I were able to get a place at Youz as an intern.

After doing an internship for a year, I was offered a job and have been working as a sociotherapist in the clinical department of Het Koraal since June 2023. I am very grateful to T4YF for the great opportunities and educational lessons.

Frank (internship)

“When you have to choose an internship, it is especially important to do what you feel good about.”

This is the most important lesson I have learned. Don’t go with friends, but choose your own learning process. You will learn the most from this!

My internship was at the Court of Audit. They conduct research based on the question: “Is public money spent sensibly, economically and carefully?” The Court of Audit investigates this on numerous subjects and provides solicited and unsolicited advice to the Cabinet/States General. I learned here how carefully all information is selected and what components the advisory reports consist of. It has given me more insight into the advisory/controlling side of public administration.

T4YF ensured that we were prepared to go through the internship process through workshops and guest lectures. From internship agreement to final pitch, T4YF supports and helps students in this process of discovering your own future.

Cathalijne (internship)

“I experienced the collaboration with my school and Time 4 Your Future as valuable and pleasant. During this period I discovered what suits me and what does not suit me for the future.”

“I learned a lot during my internship last year at the municipality of Ridderkerk. I did an internship as part of my Public Administration/Government Management course, organized by Time 4 Your Future in collaboration with my school. I ended up at the Public Order and Safety department of the municipality of Ridderkerk, which worked together with the municipalities of Barendrecht and Albrandswaard within the BAR organization.

I specifically chose the Public Order and Safety department because I find this an interesting branch of the municipality. During my internship I was able to learn a lot. On my first day I immediately intervened with the police, fire brigade, environmental agency, customs and other involved parties. We visited several companies where the municipality lacked certain data or where there were suspicions of undermining. This day was exciting and educational.

During my internship I mainly attended meetings with the police, various companies and other municipalities about tackling undermining. I really enjoyed this and it expanded my network. The less enjoyable aspect of my internship was the amount of office work, where I could not do much due to privacy-sensitive information.

Time 4 Your Future helped me enormously during my internship. My supervisor regularly sent messages to check how things were going, which I really appreciated. The workshops we received at school from Time4YourFuture also helped me. I found the workshop on core qualities particularly valuable, because it allowed me to better identify my strengths and challenges.

I experienced the collaboration with my school and Time 4 Your Future as valuable and pleasant. During this period I discovered what suits me and what does not suit me for the future.”

Lina (Action research)

“I especially liked the feeling that I could contribute to society through Time 4 Your Future. And that just by starting the conversation! That made it the most valuable to me!”

The Time 4 Your Future project came my way during the second year of my studies at Leiden University of Applied Sciences, and I experienced it as a fun challenge and a nice addition to who I am now.

Through T4YF, I and three other students conducted a short study into the experiences of young adults in Leiden with inequality of opportunity during the transition from primary school to secondary school. This was a topic that I knew something about, but had never actually discussed with peers. So to find out the experiences of the young adults, I conducted a number of interviews.

Which I found quite exciting at the time. But during the project we were given the time to find out for ourselves how we wanted to approach it, so I ultimately managed to give the interviews with great pleasure. Sometimes I even forgot that I was doing the project because I could really work in a way that suited me.

Furthermore, by participating in the T4YF project, I have seen how important it is to be aware of my prejudices before talking to someone. Because I learned to put those prejudices aside, I saw more often what I had in common with others and I had many fun and open conversations with different people.

In addition to the new work experience that I eventually gained and getting to know new people, I especially enjoyed the feeling that I could contribute to society through Time 4 Your Future. And that just by starting the conversation! That made it the most valuable to me!

Maxime (Action research)

“The experience of carrying out Participatory Action Research has been valuable to me as a final year Social Work student, as I will be required to carry out my own PAR as part of my studies this year.”

From February to July 2023 I participated in the minor Peacebuilding, Justice & Human Rights at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Together with two other students, I conducted Participatory Action Research (PAR) on Canal Pollution in The Hague as part of my Time 4 Your Future trajectory.

During this research we spoke to several people about the impact of canal pollution on their lives, including the owners of water sports company The Haag Boat, a PhD student from the Institute of Biology in Leiden and the owner of Plastic Circle. We also interviewed several other people about the impact of Canal pollution on their lives and the enjoyment of their living environment.

As part of our PAR, I went to a Plastic Soup Fishing event with owners of the Haagse Boot and some high school students. This experience was an eye-opener for me as I saw the severity of the canal pollution with my own eyes for the first time. This experience has taught me that more action is needed to prevent pollution of both the canals and our immediate environment.

The experience of carrying out Participatory Action Research has been valuable to me as a final year Social Work student, as I will be required to carry out my own PAR as part of my studies this year.

Alexandra (Action research)

“If you’re looking to really expand your horizons and make a tangible difference, I can’t recommend Time 4 Your Future enough!”

Participating in the “Peacebuilding, Justice & Human Rights” minor through Time 4 Your Future was honestly a gamechanger for me. It wasn’t just about soaking up knowledge; I actually got to put everything I learned into real-world action. One of the coolest parts? Diving into art for the first time to create a piece that joined a collective exhibition with my classmates’ works. Super out of my comfort zone, but totally worth it!

We also had the chance to conduct action research about a topic of choice by interviewing stakeholders. Me and my peers chose to do it about refugee integration in The Hague. From the interview we did, we crafted recommendations and sent them to an actual organisation, Justice & Peace, that’s actively engaged in societal work in this area.

This project not only broadened my understanding of the different approaches on how to go about global issues as a practitioner in the field — it helped me discover my own passions. That discovery led directly to an internship with the same organisation we advised, where I got to work on bringing those recommendations to life. Contributing to create a more welcoming society for refugees was incredibly rewarding.

I’m super grateful for the experience and all the personal and professional growth that came with it. If you’re looking to really expand your horizons and make a tangible difference, I can’t recommend Time 4 Your Future enough!



Do you want to participate with a group of young people, are you a school and would you like to know more about what we can do for your school or are you perhaps an organization that wants to contribute to the development of young people, please contact us at