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Mother and daughter graduate together

Mother and daughter, Helen Cooke and Jennifer Stalley, graduated on the same day. Helen Cooke completed her PhD, the first from the University, while daughter Jennifer graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Criminology and Psychology.

Jennifer said “Before coming to university, I was a full-time mummy to a beautiful little girl. I thought that was all I needed to be. But then I learned that whatever someone chooses to do, it is always possible to expand. Dreams are realities waiting to happen. When I finished school, I worked doing jobs that paid the bills, yet never challenged my inner thoughts. I didn't do very well at school, but I wanted my little girl to know that anything is possible and it doesn't matter if you don't succeed at first. The important part is to keep trying. Then, when you do achieve something, my God does it feel good! I wanted to be a role model, not just a…. ‘This is what I could have achieved if I had believed in myself a bit more’. And I did it. Sometimes, against all the odds, but I did it.”

Helen added “It’s the biggest achievement of my entire life. I never thought I would do something like this so to be able to go on to inspire other kids and adults to do the same is important to me. I feel incredibly humble today, celebrating this special day with my daughter.”