He never imagined his own life journey would pave the way to one day penning a useful guide for teenagers.
But for Graham Sykes, it’s all in a day’s work after decades spent working closely with young people in education.
Now, the married dad-of-two has compiled everything he has learned into a useful guide, called Destination Adulthood.
And he hopes the book, which covers chapters from education and employment, to life skills and even health and wellbeing, will give 16 to 24-year-olds the information they need to plan their way to successful adulthoods, as well as highlighting many of the challenges they might face along the way.
Graham, who lives in Elland, said: “I have had lots of conversations with young people over the years and wanted to get it down on paper.
“Many of them sometimes don’t know what they want to do.
“If they’re going to be spending between £30K and £40K on going to university and they’re not sure why they’re doing it, it’s important they consider it carefully.
“It is about picking a university course and getting the right qualifications and skills to get them where they want to be.
“The average teen is not a lot different from when I was a teen but I think there are a lot more options these days. Many things, especially getting jobs, can be more complicated and you need to put a lot more effort in.
“I hope this book will form a sort of essential guide for young people to help them get to where they want to be.”
Graham, who grew up in Waterloo, has worked with many young people over the years through his work in youth marketing and engagement.
He was also instrumental in helping set up the UK’s first Creative and Media Studio School at Netherhall Learning Campus, the school he used to attend.
To celebrate the launch of his first book, he visited sixth from students at Brooksbank School, Elland.
To order a copy visit www.destination.org.uk.