Young people in Havering went head-to-head with Chaser Shaun Wallace during a special visit to the borough.
Shaun, a familiar face on the ITV quiz show, The Chase, spent the afternoon with young people in care, where he gave an inspirational talk about his life as a barrister and TV personality.
He also signed copies of his autobiography, “Chasing the Dream”.
He said: “With fame comes responsibility and it’s important to use your fame in a responsible and altruistic way to inspire the next generation of leaders.
“Young people need to know that the future belongs to them and it’s important that they work hard and have an education to achieve their dreams.”
Shaun talked about how he overcame failure and negativity to become a success.
He encouraged the young people to always ensure that their talent shined, as they never knew who was looking, and didn’t want to miss an opportunity.
The Chaser was quizzed on issues such as how he manages to retain all his knowledge and how he responds under pressure.
He replied that his love of learning from an early age helped, along with his career as a barrister which allowed him to think on his feet and respond quickly.
Young person, Bruck, 21, said: “It was really good, really inspirational. It’s made me think about changing my mindset when going through difficulties.”
Ethan, 16, added: “It was really inspirational. It shows you can do anything you want to, if you put your mind to it.”
Tara Geere, assistant director of children’s services, said:
“It was a really inspirational event. Hearing successful adults such as Shaun talk about their experiences, helps our children and young people understand that despite some of the experiences they have encountered, they can be successful in life and overcome barriers.
“Shaun took the time to personally sign copies of his book and offer a word of encouragement to them, which is priceless from someone in his position.”
Leaving Care Manager Dean Gordon said:
“What the young people have said shows some of the impact that Shaun can have in raising the aspirations of young people.
“It was for this reason that I took the step to ask him to come to Havering and meet our young adults. If one young person believes in their ability to reach their dreams then the event was a complete success.”