The AIM Awards Access to Higher Education Diploma offers an alternative way of meeting the entry requirements for higher education for adult learners. Derby College has provided this qualification over many years with AIM Awards and this story shows the impact the qualification can have on an individual learner's life.
Single mum Emily Ferry started an Access course at a low point in her life but, with renewed confidence and support from Derby College, she has not looked back and now has her sights set on working with young offenders and victims of domestic violence.
Emily (32) said: "I did not do well at school and dropped out of College when I got pregnant at 17.
"Having gone through the trauma of court cases against an abusive partner and then losing my dad to cancer just weeks before the course started, I was at a pretty low point but going to College gave me renewed confidence and the structure and support that I needed.
"I passed the Access course with flying colours and gained a place at Derby University to study Criminology. Having graduated with first class honors, I am now doing volunteer work with Victim Support to gain more experience before applying for jobs in offender management.
"My passion is working with the survivors of domestic violence and I hope that I can be a role model to them and to single parents to show them just what can be achieved.
"Returning to education is more than just learning. It can give your family, security and routine as well as the confidence to have faith in your own and your children's abilities.
"Derby College put me back on the right road and I am really looking forward to my future career."
AIM Awards thanks Derby College and Emily for allowing us to share this story.