After several family bereavements, Kim wasn’t sure if she would make it to university. In this piece, Kim explains how DCU’s Access Programme helped her to secure a place in DCU’s Marketing, Innovation and Technology course and stay in the course, despite facing many challenges.
“I currently live in a council estate in Swords with my mam who works part-time in Dublin Airport. My mam always encouraged me to work hard at school so that I’d get to third level education, as she believes having an education is vital to developing the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in life. I spent a lot of time on DCU’s Glasnevin Campus as a child through the Sports Centre hosting my primary school’s annual sports day, so I knew from a very young age that I wanted to go to DCU.
I was confident I’d get the points I needed to get into DCU as I really enjoyed school and studying. However, a series of family bereavements during my last two years of secondary school meant otherwise. Between fifth and sixth year, several of my immediate family members became very ill. As my mam is the only person in our immediate family who drives, we spent a lot of time visiting hospitals and hospices with our family. An elderly neighbour also became ill during this time, so my mam and I took on the responsibility to look after him as well.
As I spent most of my time between visiting hospitals and caring for our elderly neighbour, I had little time to study for my leaving cert. Because of this, I didn’t secure the points I needed to get into DCU. Thankfully, Access offered me a place on DCU’s Marketing, Innovation and Technology course through a reduced point system. I’m really interested in business, so I was extremely grateful that Access was there to help me get to where I wanted to be.
Not only did the Access Programme help me get to university, it also helped me to stay in university.
“It’s essential that I work part-time to support myself and help out with finances at home, but this resulted in my college grades slipping as I prioritised work over study. However, the financial support I receive from the Access scholarship has allowed me to reduce my working hours and focus on my college work, while still providing financially at home.”
I know I wouldn’t be in DCU if it weren’t for the Access Programme and for this I am so grateful to the generous people and organisations who support DCU Access students. I hope to some day be in a position to give back to the Access Programme so that more young people can have the opportunity to get a university degree, no matter what their situation in life might be.”