A Sunderland mum is making her dream come true after qualifying as the city’s first Asian female driving instructor.
Sujona Begum has recently qualified and is looking forward to hitting the road in the New Year.
It is a career move she has been thinking about for some time.
“It is a complete change,” said the 41-year-old mum-of-four, from Hurstwood Road in High Barnes.
“I worked at Richard Avenue Primary School - I had been there for 19 years - but I just felt like doing something different, something for the community.
“I have always wanted to do this and I just thought ‘Why not go for it?’ - so I did.”
I want to be an inspiration to peopleSujona Begum
And she believes there will be many women from the city’s Asian community who will be delighted to have a female teacher who speaks their language.
As well as English, Sujona is fluent in both Bangladeshi and Urdu: “A lot of people are put off learning to drive because they don’t have the language, but that’s not a problem for me,” she said.
“Personally, I like male instructors but there are a lot of people who would not go to a male instructor because they would feel uncomfortable about it - it is a cultural thing.”
She will initially work for the driving school with which she trained but is looking forward to branching out.
“I am going to work for Inspire driving school for the first couple of weeks but after that I will be going out on my own,” she said.
“I am going to start in January - I have just made the payment on my car.”
Sujona hopes her story will encourage others to follow their dreams: “I want to be an inspiration to people,” she said.
“If there is something you really want to pursue, then you can.”
Anyone wanting to book lessons with Sujona can contact her on 07769 353 231.