Successful day for two Fenland students at OU ceremony

IT was a dream that that became a reality for Julie Bowman as she collected her degree from the Open University.

“My dream has come true after waiting 25 years,” said Julie, 42, who collected her BA Hons in childhood and youth studies at Ely Cathedral on Saturday.

The Wisbech mother of three left school with average grades and also wanted to be a social worker “but my mother was an alcoholic and wouldn’t allow me to go to college.”

She “put the dream aside until later in life”, got married, raised three daughters, and worked various jobs around family life.

“When the children were older I decided to study to change my life,” she said.

She began studying, got as a teaching assistant and “ worked, studied, looked after my family, did voluntary work for Action for Children and then, as passing my degree got nearer, I started applying for jobs in the social care field.”

A month ago she began work as a senior child and family worker.

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One other success story from the Fens was celebrated as Adele McCormack, 30, a service user engagement worker, also collected her Open University degree.

Adele completed a degree at Sheffield Hallam University in Applied Social Studies and then decided she wanted to be a social worker.

Five years later, through work, she applied for a sponsorship programme to do a degree in social work and opted for the Open University.

“It has been incredibly hard work yet thoroughly rewarding to complete a degree in three years whilst working full time, only having one day off per week to study,” she said. .

She is now working for one of the organisations where she did a placement and feels that as a practitioner she has developed enormously.

“It has been fantastic,” she said.

Lord Puttnam presented the degrees this year, in his role as Chancellor of The Open University.

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