A student who became a mum while studying for a degree will graduate from Bishop Grosseteste University next week.
Gemma Mills (21) attended an open day at BGU after the first term had already begun and was persuaded by lecturer Viv Kerridge to join the BA (Hons) Drama in the Community course the following week.
In her second year Gemma, from Peterborough, discovered she was expecting her first child and her third year began just seven weeks after the birth of her daughter Ella. Since then she has successfully juggled the full-time course with motherhood.
“The encouragement I received from the university has been phenomenal, especially following the birth of my daughter last year,” said Gemma. “As well as a bursary to help my partner and me cope with the additional financial needs, I felt truly supported as I returned for my third year on schedule.”
Following the three-year course Gemma now has her sights on a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Drama Education, which she will begin in September at BGU.
Gemma added: “The atmosphere at BGU has always been so supportive – whether you’re fresh from school, a mature student, or a parent with a young family, the ethos is one of inclusivity.
“It’s for this reason that I’m intending to remain here to study the PGCE Secondary course.”