Michelle first came to Lancaster as a Passport for Higher Education student and worked as student ambassador alongside her studies. After gaining a 2:1 in Law, Michelle chose to stay on read Social Work for her postgraduate study.
"I faced a huge challenge in my life in this academic year when my unborn baby was given a life threatening diagnosis and I was advised to end my pregnancy. This was at the beginning of the academic year and it heavily impacted on my attendance. When I did attend I found it very difficult to concentrate on what was being said in lectures and group work. My friends shared their notes with me and I continued with my essays and exam preparation.
My course involves completing 200 days of placement, 120 of which are this year. My baby’s due date would have been in March so my course kindly delayed my placement until after that day. Unfortunately my original placement fell through before it started due to budget cuts in the team I was due to join and this set back my placement to start in mid-June. My funding would’ve been stretched starting in January/February if I had started placement at the same time as everyone else, so to start so late was really threatening the chances of me realistically being able to reach my goal. This award will make that goal possible again. It will cover travel costs and my living expenses for the unexpected additional months I will be a student.
Lancaster University has given me opportunities that I thought I might not get to have. A chance was taken on me when I had already been turned down and recognised my determination to succeed. I have been taught ways of channelling my skills and knowledge into practical ways to support other people facing challenges in their lives. It has equipped me with the ability to make a difference to an even bigger number of people’s lives, which is truly a great gift and something that I know has filled my life with purpose, enjoyment and fulfilment.
Besides being a mum, I hope to work with looked after children or disadvantaged children who are struggling with their education for whatever reason. I want to help other young people to find direction in life, pursue their goals and achieve as highly as they can. It would be fantastic to be able to be as encouraging and supportive to other young people as the University has been to me. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I hope Lancaster University will be proud of me and never regret taking that chance on me."