“It was important for me to engage with learning not just for academic purposes”
This journey began for me when I attended Warrenmount Community Education Centre in Dublin in January 2009. I had known of the centre for many years and decided to find out more information. The staff were so encouraging and could see that it was important for me to engage with learning not just for academic purposes but also to help me build up self-esteem. Faced with rejection after rejection in the job market, I had lost confidence.
I had always been interested in working with children and I enrolled on three QQI Level 5 modules in childcare. The tutors were supportive and encouraging and I really enjoyed coming to the centre for classes. The centre is a unique place. It’s not just a place of learning, it’s also a place that focuses on the wellbeing of all of their learners. Through my experience I realised that I could progress on to a QQI Level 5 Major award and a QQI Level 6 course in supervision in childcare. I applied to Liberties College of Further Education in Dublin and was accepted on a two-year programme.
“I applied for a place on the degree programme”
I then set my sights on a NFQ Level 8 Bachelor of Arts Honours in Early Childhood Education. I felt that this qualification would enable me to progress my career. I applied for a place on the degree programme in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and I was delighted to be offered advanced entry to year two. I was very nervous but got great support from my previous tutors.
“My thirst for knowledge hasn’t diminished”
I was awarded a First Class Honours and my graduation was a wonderful experience for me. I am always aware that this achievement began when I attended Warrenmount. It was here that I gained the confidence and the encouragement which helped me to believe that I could achieve my goals. My thirst for knowledge hasn’t diminished and I hope to continue to a master’s degree programme in 2016 where I will study to be an adult educator as I would like to support and encourage others on their learning journey.
If you have an inspiring learner story that you would like to share you can contact Leah Dowdall, Learner Advocacy Officer by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01 406 8220 or you can fill out our short learner story survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LearnerStory.