What job/study are you doing right now and tell us a little about it?
I’m a Residential Childcare Officer which involves working in a children’s home in Knowsley and supporting the social, emotional, educational and career development of 14-17 year olds.
Did you do any further/higher education?
Yes, I studied at Carmel College from 1991 - 1994; the University of Teesside from 1994 - 1998, including a semester at the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands, in 1997; and the University of Huddersfield from 1998 - 1999.
How did you decide on your career path and what is/was most interesting about your work?
My experiences at St. Cuthbert’s influenced my career aspirations because they made me determined to ensure young people are always listened to and provided with understanding, support and encouragement, which I’ve been doing for almost 20 years via the roles of Lecturer in Sociology, Mentor, Youth and Community Worker, Personal Adviser, Pupil Inclusion Centre Manager, and now Residential Childcare Officer. The most interesting thing about my work has been developing projects with other youth organisations so young people from Liverpool could share their experiences, interests and dreams with young people from places such as San Diego, United States; Chapeltown, Leeds; and Bethnal Green, London.
Can you share a couple of fond memories of your time at St Cuthbert's?
My favourite academic memory is receiving a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird in fourth year seniors (Year 10) because the equality and diversity learning experiences I gained from the book continue to shape my personal and professional outlook on life. A playground memory that stands out is when I was hoping no-one would notice that my cousin had ruined my red and grey Kenny Dalglish coat by washing it with her pinks over the weekend, but the laughter of everyone who I walked past on Monday morning confirmed I needed to get a new coat!
Did you have a favourite/influential teacher? What made them so important to you?
Miss Gifford, Mrs McCann and Miss Pickavance were my favourite teachers because they empathised with my circumstances of moving from Huyton to St. Helens so helped me to settle, smile and succeed!
What advice would you give our current students?
My experiences of being the only student from Huyton at St. Cuthbert’s means I’m aware of how challenging school can be, but at the same time I’m aware of how studying can get you through the tough times and open up lots of positive opportunities in the future. Therefore, my advice to students is “if you’re having a grey day and want to scream and shout, try and keep calm and study because it will eventually bring the sunshine out!”