Mum of four starts degree while caring for her family and nursing her husband back to health
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The mum of four disliked school, and spent most of her days out on the road with her dad who was a lorry driver in Lincolnshire.
She moved to Hampshire, with her husband Gavin who joined the Royal Navy, eight years ago and was persuaded to try an adult community course at St Vincent College and her love for learning was sparked.
Zena started a pre-access course but lost her confidence when she began and quit to find a job, but the desire to learn could not be denied and she soon went back to complete a two year access course, where she studied English, maths, social science, psychology and biology.
Her world came crashing down at the end of her first year, when her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had to undergo a 12 hour operation in order to survive.
Zena said: ‘He’s come through it, although he is deaf in one ear and can’t smile properly yet. But the whole thing triggered something in me to think ‘you don’t know what life’s going to bring you’ and I really felt I wanted to do something with my life so I carried on even though it was tough.'
Zena said: ‘I’d eventually like to work with teenagers involving psychology or maybe teaching, perhaps a well-being officer in a college or school. I’m thinking about staying at university after the degree and doing a Masters. I still find it shocking that I’m even having that conversation.’
The devoted wife has proved that anything is possible if you work and put your mind to it.
St Vincent College Principal Andy Grant said: ‘It’s always wonderful to hear stories from students who have been inspired by our fantastic teaching staff to unlock the potential inside them.’