Student Voice

Published by Becky Guest on

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Working with Children, Young People and Families
WCYPF Alumni Marissa shared her journey for getting into Higher Education, her time at Newman, and the skills she has been able to use in the working environment.

My journey to Higher Education has not been the easiest. I was initially studying at a different university and I recognised that that University was not for me at all. I attended Newman initially as a last resort however it was the best decision I have ever made.

My lecturers were and still are one in a million. When COVID-19 occurred, I know every student was worried about the support but my lecturers were ALWAYS there; only a phone-call, Zoom or an email away. This made me feel incredibly lucky to have lecturers who cared for my holistic needs. There was no pressure, they believed in me even though I had my own disbelief. They also supported me through many personal difficulties throughout the three years, I truly did not miss out on anything and was always championed to do and be the best that I can be.

I enjoyed how REAL my lecturers are. They immersed me into reality and allowed me to become a critical thinker and a reflective practitioner. Understanding that issues in life is not just at a surface level.

I will never ever forget a lecture when one of my lecturers openly said that he is ‘racist’. I was in absolute disbelief and disgusted. My three years at University made me recognise why he said this and upon reflection this statement has truly moved me. It made me realise the systematic racism in our society and that racism may be something generationally taught. As my lecturer shared his experiences and throughout my years of study I recognised racism can provide educational moments especially with the knowledge I have equipped.

Fast forward to after graduating and I start to experience racism at work. Many ethnic minorities are told to stay quiet and not to stand up for themselves due to the fear of not being believed. My lecturers inspired me to stand up for myself, to know that racism is not okay and that I have a voice to be used.

Instead of behaving in the way society taught me to behave, I handled this situation gracefully whilst still providing education for those who were racist against me. I wasn’t trying to get someone fired or in serious trouble, I was concerned for the service users and staff who share similar characteristics or features as myself going through something incredibly hurtful.

Without this knowledge I would not have the empathy I have towards those being racist or the ability to eloquently stand up for myself whilst still educating individuals on what racism is and is not. Also the knowledge regarding what racism is or is not whether covertly or overtly.

I truly have my lecturers to thank for this.
  • Written by Marissa, Working with Children, Young People and Families graduate –

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