From troubled teen to uni star – Sunderland mum tells MPs how she turned her life around

Chevonne Lawson (left) with Sunderland College lecturer Katherine Bone.
Chevonne Lawson (left) with Sunderland College lecturer Katherine Bone.
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AN inspirational mum has been telling MPs how she transformed herself from a troubled teenager into a university student.

Chevonne Lawson and her Sunderland College lecturer Katherine Bone travelled to London for a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons as part of National Adult Learners’ Week.

The 22-year-old is studying for a degree in criminology at Sunderland University, but not long ago she was in care and pregnant.

She was invited to the event in London after winning a national award to recognise hard work and dedication.

Chevonne, from Town End Farm, said: “Attending the reception at the Houses of Parliament was quite an experience, and something I couldn’t have imagined doing just a few years ago. I had quite a troubled upbringing, and after a violent relationship, life wasn’t quite going the way I planned.

“There was a lot of trouble on the estate where I lived, and when I found out I was pregnant, I decided I didn’t want the same for my daughter Saskia, now four.”

Chevonne enrolled on a connect course at Sunderland College and has never looked back.

For Chevonne, learning while at school was hampered due to dyslexia and dyspraxia, but with support from Sunderland College, she is now on the way to a successful future. Now engaged to fiancé Gavin, Chevonne – also mum to two-year-old son Gavin and step-mum to Katie, seven – wants to put her experiences to good use by setting up courses to work with youth offenders and the homeless.

Lecturer Katherine said: “Chevonne’s story is fantastic and shows what can be achieved with commitment, hard work and the level of support offered at Sunderland College.

“Chevonne is one of many adult learners we have at the college who are shaping their futures, and doing it while working, caring for young children, and in some cases both.

“We try our very best at Sunderland College to help all our students, whatever their individual circumstances, to be the best that they can be.”