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Accessing University: Sharon’s Story

Prior to starting the programme, Sharon aspired to go to university. However, she had not yet encountered the support she needed to turn this aspiration into a reality. The guidance and opportunities she received through the Future Frontiers programme provided her with the knowledge and navigation skills she needed to propel her into higher education.

Sharon came to the sessions with an interest in sports science but wasn’t sure how to navigate the different pathway options or how to choose the course that would give her the best chance of securing employment later on.

For Sharon, the sessions with her coach Ellen, from Johnson Matthey PLC, helped her to assess her options and make a clear plan.

“The sessions were really helpful simply because we went through the different courses and options there were in sports science. Ellen went into lots of detail about different universities and what modules each one ran in their sports science degree programme”.

‘Most helpfully she explained to me that I would need to do an accredited course to enter some careers, helping me to narrow down the course options’. The opportunity to learn new information like this was invaluable to Sharon in helping her choose a university and course which would be the right fit for her.

‘She also helped me look at my options for after university and we went through the different things I could become, which led me to choose exercise physiology as my career goal.’

“It was really helpful and helped me think clearly about my future I suppose. Now I have no doubt. I know what I need to do to be able to get where I want in the future.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of the programme for Sharon was the opportunity to chat with professionals in industries that interested her. Sharon had two video calls, one with a children’s physiotherapist and one with a sports physiotherapist. They left her feeling inspired and excited and gave her the opportunity to “ask a century worth of questions”.

Talking about her call with the sports physiotherapist Sharon explained:

‘She really went into details about different jobs within the sports industry and the different options I had, and she also had a number of connections who she said could give me advice when I was looking to find a job after uni. I could literally feel the passion from Sarah when she was talked about her profession, and to think she's still this excited about it 10 years into the career is amazing.

Ellen described how coaching Sharon had been a really positive experience for her. ‘I hadn’t expected how enthusiastic and dedicated she would be. I guess I hadn’t expected to be able to work with someone as brilliant as Sharon.’

The programme has given Sharon confidence in her next steps after school:

I look forward to what the future has in store for me and will most definitely take on all the advice Ellen and everyone else has given me. I promise I will make them proud.”


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