Earlier this week as thousands of students waited anxiously for A Level results, Louise James from The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London was sitting pretty as she talked to Channel 4 News about her university place.

Louise completed her Access to Psychology this summer, and after receiving her results in July is now on her way to study BEd English and Education at St Mary’s University so she can fulfill her long-term goal of becoming an English teacher.

As an outstanding representative for the College, Louise was chosen to speak to the Channel 4 news crew about being a mature student and the first in her family to go to university.

The news team producer, Dan Wright, turned out to be local learner too.  As well as attending Northumberland Park School in Haringey before going on to Lancaster University in 1990, his mother taught Housing Policy at the College for 35 years.

Louise raises her daughter alone and had been out of education for four years but despite this has excelled at the College both in her studies and in College life.  She was quickly selected as a Student Ambassador and for the College’s VTalent programme, which allows students to gain new skills and help others through volunteering.

She told Channel 4 News: “I’d enrolled at other colleges but they just didn’t work for me, so I thought I’d come here and try the vocational route. The VTalent programme and dedication of the tutors made it feel like a real community, and I’ve felt engaged from day one.”

College Vice Principal, Jane O’Neill, said:”Many of our learners go to university with Level 3 vocational qualifications rather than A Levels.  We also offer an excellent range of Access programmes and Foundation Degrees.”

College Enrichment Manager, Anthony Robinson, said: “As part of the VTalent programme Louise mentored other learners and worked as a classroom assistant, all tailored towards her chosen career and giving her experience, confidence and motivation. I am delighted with Louise’s success.  It was our first year of running V Talent and the results have been fantastic.”

Louise added: “I always intended to go to university but sometimes life gets in the way. However I persisted and with the encouragement of family, friends and the College I’m finally there.”

Louise will start her degree in September.

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