Monica fulfils lifelong dream

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Lisburn woman, Monica McCard (41) is a former SERC Access student who fulfilled her dream of becoming a Marine Biologist by returning to education.

On completion of the Access course Monica progressed to Queen’s University Belfast where she did a three-year degree in Marine Biology.

She has also completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and is working on her PhD in Invasion Ecology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Monica explained: “I left school at 16 with only one GCSE, my childhood dream was to one day become a marine biologist but that seemed elusive at that stage.

“The Access course gave me the opportunity to fulfil that dream. After I had my family, I went back to school and through Access, I was able to complete my degree in Marine Biology.

“Having experienced first-hand what someone like myself can achieve by going back to study, I am a strong ambassador for lifelong and adult learning and would whole heartily encourage anyone who is thinking of returning to take that first step.”

Ellie Bradley, Deputy Head of School, Applied Science Sport and Access to Education, at South Eastern Regional College said: “It is a privilege to teach in this sector.

“We watch people who are afraid to come into the building and see this amazing change as they develop their confidence, their learning, gain new skills and change their aspirations.”