AAT Student of the Year Award goes to eagle's student!
As Sarah’s strength of character is truly remarkable, we decided to enter her for AAT’s Student of the Year 2014 Award and she won! AAT representatives said they were truly blown away by Sarah’s story, as it confirms that their qualification makes a real difference to people’s lives and that’s what they are here for!
Sarah’s sheer determination helped her break down barriers to success and achieve her ambitions against all the odds! Here is her story…
Sarah was made redundant soon after becoming a single parent of two very young boys. Finding herself in this situation made her realise that she needed to think about the future so she could provide her family with financial security. She seized an opportunity to use Redundancy Action Funding (REACT) which is a scheme supported by the Welsh Assembly to help people retrain after redundancy. As financial support is only available for one year, Sarah set herself a challenging goal to achieve AAT level 2 and 3 within the year, in order to get the most from the available funding.
Unfortunately whilst studying, Sarah found herself is one of life’s most challenging and stressful situations - she became homeless and she and her boys had to move into a hostel. The hostel was located in a different town to the boys’ school and in order to keep travel costs under control she’d study in her car whilst waiting for the boys to finish school. Months later Sarah found housing and a job but was then made redundant for a second time! Wow! Can you imagine the impact that could have on your spirit? Sarah did find studying extremely challenging. Despite all the setbacks her determination paid off and she achieved level 2 and 3 within a year! On average a student takes between 6 and 12 months to achieve one level of the AAT qualification, so this is truly a remarkable achievement.
Newly qualified and determined to get her foot on the career ladder, Sarah contacted accountants asking for unpaid work experience. She was turned away by many but eventually managed to secure some and it resulted in part time employment.
Sarah was keen to study AAT level 4 and needed to do that by distance learning. As a single working mum, she needed the flexibility. It took 15 months to save the course fees but Sarah has very recently returned to eagle to study level 4.
Sarah said that studying AAT is the best thing she’s ever done. She’s enjoying a new career and is more determined than ever to become a level 4 qualified Accounting Technician!
Sarah was truly overwhelmed by her award. Sarah’s story inspired everyone at the ceremony and I think there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! Sarah commented that she couldn't have done it without the amazing support of her tutor Jo Mallinson at eagle. Sarah was equally thrilled that eagle won their own award AAT Distance Learning Provider of the Year.
We would like to wish her every success in her level 4 studies and career as she certainly has worked hard for it.
The image shows Sarah on the left as AAT's Student of the Year.