From education to employment

How education is helping women rewrite their future

person writing

The transformative role that education can play in someone’s life is not a new phenomenon, yet education is so often perceived as being restricted to your formative years. In reality, learning never has to stop. As we get sidetracked by the development of life’s typical milestones – education – work – house – marriage – kids, we often lose sight of learning new things and sometimes lose ourselves too.  

Taking time for yourself once your children have grown up, learning a new skill that you’ve always wanted to master, or simply having more time and freedom can be a great reason to reskill. With women aged between 30-50 making up over 70% of enrolled students at City Lit as of September 2022, education can have a profound impact later on in life. For Wendy and Sandra, City Lit’s various creative writing courses have helped them carve a new path, rediscover their confidence and give them the chance to rewrite their future.

“It’s too late to start again” – sound familiar? This reasoning is often what holds us back from having a career we truly love. After being made redundant from her previous role aged 42, Wendy Allen was lacking in confidence. Whilst she reassessed what she wanted to do, Wendy attended a poetry course and despite never having written poetry before, simply fell in love with writing. She was able to unlock a new creative part of herself that she didn’t even know was there and forge a new career. Two years on, Wendy is a published author and has completed an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University and starts a PhD in October too.  

A competition winner that saw her work published in City Lit’s Between the Lines annual anthology of poems, scripts and prose by creative writing students, Sandra has always been in the arts. Yet her life-long passion for creativity and writing took a backseat to care for her autistic son. Having enrolled in several courses in the past, Sandra has recently been able to enrol in City Lit’s Advanced Writing for Children course, as she pursues her career as a children’s author and hopes to complete her new children’s book, Snowband, by December. Speaking about the impact reskilling has had on her life Sandra said:  

“I went back into learning because I need to write stories for these characters – the characters need a voice so I wanted to refresh my writing skills and finish the book. This story needs to be told and what better way to showcase emotions, feelings and truth than through children’s characters.” 

Whether it’s unlocking a new passion or reigniting an old one, education can have a powerful impact on a woman’s journey through life.

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