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Halil Ülker

33 years old, degree in philosophy and pedagogy, youth social worker, anti-aggressiveness and coolness trainer, coordinator of an emerging district school, a Bochum lad

Halil Ülker


Time travel to the past: as a 12th-year student, you meet a talent scout; how would he have described you, which talents would he have identified in you?
In year 12, I used to talk back a lot, but that was really only to mask my own insecurity. Compared with my classmates, I didn’t think much of my abilities and wasn’t a good student. A talent scout would certainly have discovered my “hidden” interest in handcraft, in addition to my enthusiasm for working with children and teenagers. He or she would have encouraged me to learn a trade as an alternative to studying pedagogy, and to pursue a degree afterwards. During my school years, I spent a lot of time as a volunteer in the youth centre, where I was in charge of children and youth groups; at the same time, I always enjoyed building things and pottering around. Because I wanted to go to university after completing my A-levels, a pedagogy degree was pretty much the only option open to me.

Today, you are a talent scout yourself; why are you the right person for the job, what are your strengths?
I believe that the path my own life took, especially with regard to family, school and career, qualifies me for the task of a talent scout. Thanks to my work in the youth centre and a counselling walk-in centre for children and young people, I have accumulated considerable hands-on experience with, for example, young offenders.
In order to establish a school for the Styrum district in Mülheim a. d. Ruhr, I acted as coordinator for all schools in the district. Here, I worked hand in hand with the head teachers, many members of the teaching staff and other cooperation partners, with the aim of establishing a network for all schools. I believe I know how school works and how much stress it generates, and in what way all that affects the teenagers’ school routine.
Finally, I’m pretty sure I can relate to the way school leavers are bogged down by emotional barriers when it comes to planning their own future. It is important to find the right balance between patience and determination in order to work with school leavers and to encourage them to follow their own path.

Looking into the future, five years from now: what have you learned? At what kind of experiences do you look back?
In five years’ time, I hope I will have encouraged as many teenagers as possible to believe in their own strengths and to develop the utmost self-confidence. This is essential in order to confidently shape one’s own future.
As to myself, I would like to look back at an exciting time, during which I crossed paths with a great number of people and, consequently, have experienced personal development and acquired new knowledge in the course of this fantastic project.


Halil Ülker
Phone: 0234 32-25928

Universitätsstraße 105
Room 4/010
44789 Bochum