Ammanford mum of two wins learning award
STUDYING full-time for a professional qualification can be tricky at the best of times but when you are a mum of two and preoccupied with your forces husband being in Afghanistan then it becomes even more of a challenge.
Trina Smith from Ammanford, however, was more than up to the task and has become Agored Cymru’s Access Learner of the Year 2013 after completing an access to higher education course at Llanelli’s Coleg Sir Gar.
The mum entered the world of education in 2011 after a difficult period of her life. With two young sons, Kyle aged 16 and Aaron aged 9, to look after and her husband on a three month tour of Afghanistan she has had to learn how to juggle her parental duties with her studies.
She said: “I hadn’t been in education since I was 16 which is a long time ago and it was a difficult time as when I neared the end of the curse my oldest son had his GCSEs.”
It was also difficult with husband Christian in a war zone.
“It added to it a bit, being a military wife it’s always at the back of your mind that you are waiting for that phone call,” she said.
“It did get a bit stressful but he came back safe, which is all that matters.”
Mrs Smith, who is now working on a degree in Mental Health Nursing at Swansea University, added: “I’m overjoyed to win this award. The Access course has given me confidence I never knew existed. I would never have imagined this time last year that I would have achieved all that I have, and for the first time in my life I am proud of whom I am and the person I have become.”
Janet Barlow, chief executive of Agored Cymru said: “Trina really stands out as an excellent example and inspiration to others to achieve their full potential.
“Her story also shows how an Access to Higher Education course can open new opportunities, and lead to higher level qualifications and a new career.
“Trina’s determination and fearlessness have demonstrated how much she has wanted to progress, and in her own words she is stronger and happier than ever.”