As the years passed, any consideration of further education felt aimless. Raising a family, being a wife, mother, worker left my other passions on pause. I had a purpose and I thrived. However, despite my complacency and happy consistency of daily life, I became aware of an ever-growing sensation akin to longing. Familiar dreams and desires I’d almost forgotten about, started to taunt me. Regret that my opportunities of education had passed, and it was now too late. In particular, my dream of gaining a degree in a subject I’d wanted since the age of 16 was never going to become a reality. I am now however, in the last few weeks of that degree I dreamed of, and I couldn’t be any happier or equally any prouder of myself.
Whilst working as cleaner for a company, it was there I first heard about the Step Up programme. Although it sounded enticing, I still felt it was so far from my reach as I truly believed I didn’t have the level of education needed to enrol in any university course. I simply didn’t feel smart enough to move forward. My struggle through high school, despite my best efforts resigned me to believing I couldn’t as I was left behind due to dyslexia, which wasn’t noticed and I was almost branded “lazy” and therefore, I accepted that label and simply gave up trying. Still, I had to see what it entailed and maybe, just maybe, this was my last hope of my dream becoming true. Even suffering with learning difficulties and hidden disabilities, this has become the most amazing chapter of my life where I feel I have flourished. Not as a mother, wife and all the other hats I wear, this is for me. For Linz. And yes, I am proud of myself as is my family at the same time!
My experience of the Step Up programme made going back to education fun. It taught me, regardless of any “obstacles” in my mind, they were in fact just another piece of me and encouraged me to see, not only how anything can be achieved, but also how to make the person you are discover your strengths. My confidence has become something that empowers me to take on new challenges, not shy away, embrace “me” and that is something I will take forward with me.
Step Up provided everything you need to succeed. The additional support for learning, the ability to gain life skills to ensure you have the best chance possible to stand you a good confident position to take with you into any degree you wish to study. After hiding my disabilities for years, I will now stand tall and not only openly talk about them but use them to encourage others in the same or similar position. Stand tall, embrace who you are and be proud!
If you are feeling somewhat similar and don’t know where to start, we are here to help. Through our YES Project, we are able to offer 1:1 coaching and mentoring with young people aged 16-24 which aim to develop the following:
- Academic and Learning Development
- Life and Career Planning
- Mentoring and Coaching
- Information, Advice and Guidance on progressing to University
Please feel free to get in touch with the team directly via email on email@example.com or via Facebook: Step Up to Higher Education/Twitter: @StaffsStepUP and we’d be happy to see how we can help you achieve your future aspirations!
Look forward to speaking with you soon,