Huge congratulations to Coleg y Cymoedd learner Laura Harris - #InspireCymru17 Adult Learner of the Year
Laura's profile from the event
Laura Harris has transformed into a confident and successful student progressing to university, having worked to overcome a troubled childhood where she experienced homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health issues.
The 33-year-old mother-of-three moved to Aberdare, she knew no-one in the area so decided to enrol in college and this was when Laura’s learning journey began in 2015. Laura started with an Access to Humanities course and progressed onto Level 3 Business
& Administration. She says, “I wanted to get an education to help my children with their school work. I relish learning and nothing feels more rewarding than getting distinctions in my work.”
Determined, Laura excelled at her studies and in her coursework. She has also used her challenging background to help others. As part of a theatre workshop Laura devised a DVD
which features her experiences on relationships and domestic violence.
The DVD was rolled out across schools and colleges in the county and won a National Union of Students Enterprise award in 2016. As a result of the trauma of her past life, Laura suffers panic attacks, however her nominator, Laura Wilson of Coleg y Cymoedd comments; “Laura’s story could have ended so differently but she continues to inspire and amaze those around her. Education has proved a turning point for her health and wellbeing
and I am so very proud of her.”
Laura is now moving on to Higher Education, having secured a place to study Events Management at the University of South Wales in September.
Laura says: “I wanted to better myself and the best way I thought I could do that was by going to college. I had so little confidence, I feel much better about myself and stronger too.
My message to anyone who suffers from mental health, alcohol and drug problems like I did - the answer is education! It transformed my life. Education has empowered me, it has
been my life saver. I’ve proved to myself and others that I can do it.”