Sarah Glass is Executive Director at the Centre for Leadership Performance (CforLP) and was one of the first people brought into the business when it began just ten years ago. With two sons and an understanding of young people, she thrives on helping them forge ahead with their careers. She lives and works in Cockermouth.

She said: "When I left school I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do – just like many young people in Cumbria. I dropped out of university and had no real direction. I certainly never envisaged myself in the job I have now. It just wasn’t on my radar. That’s why I am so proud of Dream Placement - one of our flagship programmes. It brings young people together with businesses to demonstrate the opportunities and drive aspiration. Through my work I constantly come into contact with fabulous businesses here in Cumbria, and it is a privilege to work with them on such programmes or provide the training or support they need to succeed.

Joining CforLP job was a turning point for me. I moved to Cumbria from London almost 20 years ago, originally running our own hotel and restaurant business. Before that I worked in sales and marketing within travel and property sectors but they were 9 to 5 commitments.

It’s been an exciting few years working with fellow Executive Director Catherine Eve to steer through uncertain times. For me a big part of the job is about helping to show people that we can all be leaders, because better leadership really does equal better lives for everyone, and I’m still on my lifelong leadership journey. I was hired as Marketing & Business Development Manager – tasked with promoting CforLP and improving leadership in Cumbria. As a self-sustaining not-for-profit enterprise, CforLP now pays its way. But we also lead the way by reinvesting the money we make in funding ground-breaking initiatives such as Cumbria Future Leaders, run by and for 16-25 year olds in the county.

With two sons of my own, I’ve got a real stake in the future of Cumbria. I love working with young people and helping to forge links between schools and business. We design and deliver fully project-managed programmes that encourage engagement between local employers and young people to help them recognise the career opportunities within Cumbria. I have always been interested in engaging with communities and with CforLP I found the perfect fit, combining my experience gained running a small business, with an opportunity to do a good job and make a difference.

Making a difference to people’s lives is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It is a theme that has shaped the recent evolution of the successful Bright Stars programme. It began with children as young as five challenged to set up their own mini-businesses, partnering with companies to develop the skills they need, and winning awards by making big profits. Now, they might still make a profit but the big objective is to ‘make a difference’ to something that matters to them.

Collaboration is one of the biggest joys of my job – working with businesses, with schools, with other organisations and with a brilliant CforLP team. Developing the Centre’s wide connections with businesses, educators and young people across Cumbria is key to the success of our engagement programmes. I truly believe that if you put your mind to anything. take yourself out your comfort zone and work hard you can achieve anything you aspire to be I believe passionately in building and developing local leadership skills. That will be key to the continued success of businesses in the area and vital for growing new ones.

I especially love being able to make a difference to the lives of young people. Everyone needs to work harder to show young people the opportunities within Cumbria so that even if they go away to university they are keen to come back. That’s one of the prime aims of Dream Placement – to widen their horizons here in Cumbria and build confidence and self-belief. Give people at any stage in their life vision and ambition, and they will work hard to achieve it."