Student and father, Jermaine Jones - recently featured in Panoramaâ€™s Britainâ€™s Missing Dadsâ€™ - is currently studying at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London and working towards becoming a qualified youth worker.
Twenty-two year old Jermaine, who has a two year old daughter, was featured in the programme as a father who shares custody of his young daughter and is trying to improve the quality of their lives.
Jermaine is currently attending the College two days a week while working three days a week at the Pembury Youth Club in Hackney.
Jermaine spends one day a week at the College working towards his Apprenticeship in Youth Work Level 2 and he spends one day a week at the College’s Study Skills Centre, where he gets help with his dyslexia. This includes access to assistive technology software such as Dragon Speech that allows him to read and write competently, and one-to-one literacy support.
Jermaine struggled at school, with his dyslexia going unnoticed until he enrolled at the College last year. He said: “When I started to get support from the College and they mentioned dyslexia, I didn’t even know what it meant. Now I know there is a reason why I found school so hard and I struggled to read bedtime stories to my daughter.”
Jermaine, who was discovered for the panorama programme by attending a scheme for young dads, added: “Being part of panorama and enrolling at the College has made me determined to provide a good life for my daughter. I think it is far too easy for young dads to walk away and leave the responsibility to the mother.
“Young dads out there who can’t provide for their family just need to get focused and back into education or work. No matter what skills they start with they can always aim higher. It’s not about letting people put you down, but basically doing what you have to do for your kids.
“And if money is an issue, there are plenty of routes you can take. I choose to do an apprenticeship so I can work and earn money while getting my qualification. Some people may be happy going from one low paid job to another but for me, studying means I can provide a better life for my daughter, and most of all I can read to her.”
Jane O’Neill, Vice Principal of Curriculum and Learner Experience, says: “Jermaine’s determination to succeed makes him a fantastic ambassador for the College, and shows the opportunities we offer at the College help people to overcome any barriers they may have experienced towards learning.”
To watch Jermaine in the ‘Britain’s Missing Dads’ visit: http://www.youngdads.tv/2011/01/britains-missing-dads-panorama/