Lucy, who lives in Ballyclare, fulfilled her lifelong dream of studying at university and graduates this summer with a Bachelor of Science in Business with Marketing. Diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of seven, Lucy endured years of uncertainty however a newfound passion fueled her pathway to academic success:
“I really struggled throughout my school years, and I did not know what the future held for me. By chance, my former Ballyclare Secondary School teacher suggested that I study a business course at sixth year college. I moved from school at the end of Lower sixth and very quickly I found something that I not only loved, but something I was good at.”
Progressing her studies in Business at the Belfast Metropolitan College, Lucy continued to show her commitment by attending night school to meet the entry requirements of the course. Her persistence and determination continued to drive her toward her dream, pursuing opportunities along the way that would in fact become pivotal moments in her journey to success, winning the Career Ready Student of the year for NI and then, NI finalist for the British Education Awards:
“During my two years at Belfast Met, I applied for the Career Ready Programme, designed to help young people reach their potential and encourage them to follow their dreams. Through that programme I was able to do a six-week summer internship at Citibank. At the end of my time at Belfast Met, I not only finished a course I loved, but I also got the opportunity to fulfil a dream of going to university, something I never thought I would be able to do.”
Despite the challenges presented by her diagnosis, Lucy followed her own path and ultimately achieved her dream at Ulster University.
“My four years at university has not been a walk in the park, but I was never willing to let go of a dream. With the help and guidance from my university tutors and the mentors I had met through the Career Ready Programme, I not only fulfilled my dream but completed a further one-year placement with Citibank and subsequently received a graduate position."
Lucy attributes her achievement to the guidance and mentoring she received as a student, so much so, that she hopes to continue to work with the Career Ready Programme to become a mentor to others:
“The right guidance and support can help anyone fulfil their dream. There is no dream too big. I hope to be an example to other young people who feel lost or unsure about their future and show them that they can achieve anything, if they put their mind to it.”