Yesterday was a proud day for us. Lucy graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology with a distinction. Each student was only allowed to invite two people to the ceremony so me and Laurence (Lucy’s boyfriend) were the lucky ones.
Lucy has always been really keen on learning, right from an early age she had a love of reading. She’d go to the local library and get through the 10 books she was allowed to borrow in just two days!
She couldn’t wait to start school and English was always her strong subject. School took its toll though, the bullying, the structure, having to learn subjects that she wasn’t really interested in.
So roll onto secondary school and after doing a fantastic Junior Cert. she went back for one day in fourth year and told me she couldn’t do it anymore. School wasn’t for her and I totally understood that. The head teacher wasn’t impressed but why put a child through something when they are so unhappy being there? There is always another way – and there was.
Lucy went to the CTC, the Community Training Centre in Cleveragh, Sligo. They have a much more practical, hands-on, way of teaching. There was a choice of hairdressing, computers, catering and sports. The centre caters for early school leavers and this place was great for Lucy. It gave her confidence and encouraged her love of computers.
After the CTC Lucy did work experience with Sligo Rovers and did a PLC course at Sligo College of Further Education followed by an accounting course. She passed everything and was keen to carry on with her education so she started in Athlone Institute of Technology where she graduated yesterday with a distinction in Office Management and Administration.
Lucy continues to learn and is now studying marketing in AIT. From a personal point of view I don’t know how she does it. I can’t sit still long enough to listen to anything and I find if I’m not really interested in something I will zone out. Lucy is so focused and will stick at something even if she finds it difficult.
I’m so, so, proud of her and not just because she graduated. My one wish for both my children is that I want them to be happy and anything else is a bonus. Lucy is a credit to herself, she’s a wonderful, compassionate lady and I’m proud to call her my daughter.