Courageous learner wins regional award

15 June 2015 Marc receiving his award

Marc, receiving his Adult Learners' Week award for progression to university

A courageous former City and Islington College student has won a regional award for overcoming hardship and achieving a lifelong ambition of making it to university.

Marc Evans in his mid-30’s, won the South East Regional Award for progression to higher education as part of Adult Learners’ Week.

Before progressing to university, Marc had had a tough childhood. He was in care until the age of seven, was sent to live in Nigeria, then was brought to a state boarding school in Norfolk. When he was 15 he ran away from the school to live with his father in South London.

The relationship with has Dad was extremely difficult and he failed his GCSEs. He also had to witness seeing his mother homeless.

He took an NVQ at a London college but walked out on the apprenticeship to get away from his father who he has not had contact with since. For a time Marc was homeless, but was able to get a job in leisure before working for the police. At the age of 30 he was also diagnosed with dyslexia.

“I want to make a difference and to help improve the life chances of young people"

With a love for learning, Marc wanted to return to education and work with vulnerable young people. He gained experience as a volunteer at Action for Children at the Independent Visitors project and Hackney Young Carers Project (Social Kitchen).

As well as volunteering for Action for Children he enrolled on a Diploma in Youth Work Practice at City and Islington College.

After encouragement from his tutor, Marc is now studying part-time for a BA Honours degree in Social Pedagogy, Education and Youth Practice at Canterbury Christ Church University.

He has achieved his lifelong ambition of returning to education and in the future wants to work with vulnerable young people and work on policy issues affecting them.

Marc said: “I am very proud and overwhelmed to have won this award and want to thank everyone who has supported me.

“I want to make a difference and to help improve the life chances of young people. My story and award hopefully can show that with the right support, guidance and self-belief, achieving your dreams and ambitions is possible despite experiencing adversity.”

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