Learning leads to success for mature student
Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 May 2012
A mature student at the University of Leicester has been recognised for her inspirational work as an adult learner.
Iris Tinto, who studied part-time at the University’s Institute of Lifelong Learning, has won an Adult Learners Week regional award for the East Midlands. The Adult Learners’ Week Awards celebrate the achievements of outstanding adults that have transformed their lives through learning.
As Iris raised two children, providing them with opportunities that she had missed as a child, it made her realise that she wanted to fulfil her potential through education. Experiences from her own life, a passion for helping others and a real desire to learn, led Iris to embark on a part-time BA (Hons) degree in Counselling at the University of Leicester in 2005. Although her self-belief and confidence was low at the beginning, Iris had a wealth of life experience from which to draw, which helped in her learning. Iris gained a first class degree, her research has been put forward for publication and she will formally graduate this year.
Iris now co-runs a counselling partnership, and is working towards formal accreditation. She is also running therapy groups for disadvantaged parents at a Sure Start centre, as well as helping others through mental health charity, Mind, and in collaboration with Age UK.
Iris reflected, “It is clear now that an adult learning course in counselling was the springboard I needed to fully realise all of my ambitions personally, academically and professionally. My past did not equal my future, but it served to make a difference now, in the present.”
Clare Symons, Acting Director of Counselling and Psychotherapy Programme, said, “Throughout her time on the BA, Iris combined a thirst for learning with commitment and hard work. I am delighted that she has won this well-deserved award in recognition of her achievement.”
Val Owen-Pugh, Director of the BA and Certificate Programmes in Counselling, added “When I was asked to nominate a student for the Adult Learner of the Year award, Iris was the obvious choice. She studied our Certificate and Diploma courses before completing her undergraduate studies with our BA (Hons) in Counselling. She has overcome many difficulties to excel as an adult learner. She has impressed her tutors with her openness to learning and has dedicated her life to helping others.”
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