Isabel Hinojosa




When a catastrophic brain injury turned Isabel’s life upside down, enrolling on adult learning courses at Idea Store Learning offered the opportunity to rebuild her sense of self. Isabel is now looking to use her unique experience and skillset to help other people with neurological conditions. 

I studied physics at university and then taught science in a secondary school. I was quick, efficient and very good at maths. All of this disappeared after my brain injury. My speech, movement, coordination and memory have all been affected.   

I felt that adult learning would be a safe step I could take independently. I wanted to be with other people, gain a qualification and, above all, have a life of my own, be productive and contribute to society.  

Going back to learning level 1 maths was initially very frustrating. But as my teacher learnt about my needs, she supported me by giving me individual feedback, checking on me and encouraging me. My memory and my skills began to come back, and my focus and mood improved. I am now on a level 2 maths course and would also like to continue with my British Sign Language course. My dream is to work in a school again, but I understand it will be difficult with my condition. 

Through my courses I have felt the impact of a limited availability of funding and accessibility obstacles during courses. I hope that by talking about my experiences I can increase awareness of brain injury and improve services for people like me.  

Kasia Jarczewska, Skills for Life lecturer in maths at Idea Store Learning, Tower Hamlets Council, said: “Isabel is doing very well on her level 2 course. She would like to work with people affected by mental ill-health or neurological illness in the future. I feel she would be great in a role of this kind.”