FIVE years ago Kellie Hudspeth made a decision that she was determined to go to university once she’d finished school – her only dilemma was which career path to choose.
The 16-year-old’s enthusiasm to achieve her ambitions was highlighted during our award-winning Moving On Up campaign, when her school, St Anthony’s, supported the drive to promote higher education to young people in Sunderland.
Now aged 21, the Echo caught up with Kellie once again and discovered how she is on track to become a primary school teacher after fulfilling her dream to study at university.
“At school I was unsure of what career I wanted until moving into higher education when I became much more focussed and decided teaching was for me,” explained Kellie, from Murton. “But there was never any doubt that I wanted to end up at university in order to give me the best chance of a good job.”
After A-levels, Kellie enrolled to study an HND course in Working with Children and Families at the City of Sunderland College, which convinced her that teaching was the right career for her. She has now begun her final year at the University of Sunderland to top up her course, which is a BA honours degree in Education and Curriculum studies.
On top of her studies, she works at a private nursery in Ryhope, gaining as much practical experience as possible on her journey to becoming a teacher.
She said: “I want to inspire the next generation of youngsters at school. I’m hugely passionate about education and am determined to encourage children who’ll be in my care to go on and be the best they can be through higher education.
Asked who inspired her when she was growing up, Kellie said her parents have always supported her decisions, despite not having attended university themselves.
“They’ve been behind me all the way, they realise the value of higher education, and my older brother is also studying a graphic design degree. Luckily I also live at home, which helps me financially.”
Asked if next’s year’s rise in tuition fees would have deterred her from higher education, Kellie said: “Definitely not. The way I look at it, it’s an investment in your future and the benefits outweigh the costs.”