How has your learning journey made a difference to your family?

Jo Wyard

19 July 2022

I asked my children this question, they told me:

It helped them realise there’s nothing WRONG, with NOT having it all figured out right away.

It’s OK to take your time figuring out who you are and what you’re passionate about.

Your past does not define you.

It’s NEVER too late to be the person you were always meant to be.

Dyslexia is an ability NOT a disability. Mindset is EVERYTHING.

And when your determination to succeed is unshakable, no ODDS can stand between you and your success…

As when I started this learning journey, 9 years ago now, I had just become a single parent again for the third time, my youngest two were 1 and 2 years old, and my daughter, Tallulah, who is with me today, was just starting high school, I had no money, I was on benefits, I didn’t know I was dyslexic, and nearly EVERYONE doubted I would make it through college, let alone make it to university. 5 years of full-time study followed, retaking maths and English GCSEs, college, my social work degree, and my psychology masters.

Tallulah, who I’m proud to say, has just finished her first year at university, told me last night, that before each of her exams, she went into each one with the same thought repeating over and over in her head: “Remember, whose daughter you are, remember whose daughter you are…”. I didn’t know that til last night, and CAN’T tell you how much that meant to me.

For me, my four children were and have always been my reasons why… when I failed, felt overwhelmed, cried with frustration, I remembered them and why I had begun this learning journey.

I wanted my learning journey, to show them to not ever give up, yes your chosen paths may change, yes you will fail, yes you will make mistakes, but if you can remain HOPEFUL… and you are DETERMINED, you ARE capable of achieving what you and everyone else, at one time, thought was impossible.

New Directions Award winner 2022

Jo became determined to change her life for her and her four children after becoming a single mother. From leaving school with few qualifications, Jo returned to learning at the age of 41 and has now been in her chosen profession for three years.

Read Jo's story