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Sophie Nelson

Sophie Nelson

Sophie finds true vocation thanks to Derby College

Former Derby College student Sophie Nelson is looking forward to starting a degree in occupational therapy next year. But Sophie, who has completed her Higher Level Teaching Assistants course at the Roundhouse “never in a million years” thought she would be going to university.
 
 She said: “I wasn’t that confident in my own abilities and didn’t think I was good enough. At school I put my focus into making people laugh rather than learning but as I’ve grown up I‘ve realised the importance of studying, and that it’s never too late... I’m capable of doing everything that’s required of me on a degree course, including the referencing and academic writing. Thanks to Derby College I feel like I can do anything and would recommend the HLTA course 100%.”  
 
Sophie who is 27 and originally from Mickleover, thought she wanted to be a police officer when she first left school so took levels 2 and 3 of the Public Services course at Broomfield Hall.  
 
She added: “We had to do a lot of volunteering on that course so I volunteered at St Andrews Academy in Derby, a school for 11 to 19-year-olds with special educational needs. I absolutely loved it. I realised exactly what I wanted to do, so, after finishing college, I went on to work as a teaching assistant at other special schools. Before that I’d always known I wanted a job which would benefit the community, but not teach.”
 
To further her knowledge, Sophie enrolled on the level four course for higher level teaching assistants, which she completed in 2019.  
 
Due to take up her place at Derby University in September 2021, she is soon to start a new job in a secondary school. In her role as student engagement and learning mentor, Sophie will be supporting students with learning difficulties resulting from social, emotional or behavioural issues.  
 
She added: “Once I have finished my degree I would like to be an occasional therapist, specialising in supporting children with special needs to live the most fulfilling life possible. My mum worked for Leicestershire Disabled Children’s Service and at a young age I was aware of special needs and the importance of inclusion.”  

I wasn’t that confident in my own abilities and didn’t think I was good enough. At school I put my focus into making people laugh rather than learning but as I’ve grown up I‘ve realised the importance of studying, and that it’s never too late... I’m capable of doing everything that’s required of me on a degree course, including the referencing and academic writing. Thanks to Derby College I feel like I can do anything and would recommend the HLTA course 100%.

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