From education to employment

Judith Price has just completed a Masters degree, has already got a counselling diploma and is just

Reading and writing has been one long challenge for me. It was the old story ““ my school reports always said “doesn”t apply herself” and “could do better”. But that wasn”t what was going on at all: what none of my teachers had realised was that I was dyslexic. After leaving school at 16, I used a series of survival strategies to get by. I tend to memorise and put things in pictures and use mindmaps. Unusually, my dyslexia did not affect my numeracy, and I found I had a gift for numbers, so I”ve got by because I”ve always done jobs like auditing and accounts ““ I”m good with people and figures. After starting my current job in the finance department at the University of Wales in Newport, I joined the local branch of UNISON. I became a health and safety rep and took my Stage 2 and 3 Health and Safety courses, as well as the unionlearn course, Countering the Far Right.

I also started thinking about developing my own career and because I work for Cruse Bereavement Care in Gwent in my spare time, I decided that I wanted to qualify as a counsellor. I wanted to do a diploma in counselling and knew that I would need a diagnosis in order to get a disabled student allowance for help with my grammar and spelling. My results came back, showing that indeed I do have dyslexia and I was able to get the help I needed with literacy software. And after I completed a diploma in cognitive behavioural therapy at the university where I work, I started a Masters degree, studying the impact of work-related deaths on the family and co-workers. I am planning to start a PhD in the same subject once I finish the MA in the spring.

I am also about to become a Union Learning Rep. Sometimes we don”t know what is out there and just need some basic understanding and coping strategies to help us further our aims in life ““ and learning is lifelong. Education isn”t something you just do and then it’s over and done with at 16. And the way the world is now you need to be able to adapt and diversify. The only limitation you have to learning is yourself. It may be hard to believe in yourself when others think you are not as bright as you should be but if you don”t try, you”ll never know. And learning also keeps your marbles rolling round as well!

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