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Elizabeth Pellicci, from Gronant in Flintshire, has been recognised for her achievements in her degree in Education Studies with Fine Art by her tutors. As a commuting student with caring responsibilities for siblings at home with special needs, Elizabeth still managed to achieve high grades throughout her course.

Elizabeth said: “I have three younger brothers with various special needs and live in a single parent household. I've always been quite connected to home and supporting my family, but particularly over the pandemic this has meant being even more involved in the running of our household and caring for the boys’ needs. My mum was working 14-hour days as a carer and so everything I could take over, I did. 

“Of course, it wasn't always easy to maintain a perfect balance between caring for home and the kids, while trying to support my mum's mental and physical health through such a gruelling job, with doing a degree. But it was necessary for my family, and it has helped me to reaffirm my priorities and be more confident with things like time management, asserting myself, and asking for support.”

Elizabeth found the support of her tutors and her interest in her subject inspired her to keep going. She also made the time to become a Student Representative to feedback to the University about her course.

She added: My time at Chester has allowed me to discover and nurture my passions. The support of tutors like Helen Eadon-Sinkinson and Paul Skillen has been invaluable, and I'm incredibly grateful to them.  I've felt surrounded by people who are passionate and in my corner at Chester from day one, and this continued advocacy and enthusiasm from the staff has helped enable me to achieve so much over the last three years. 

“The education side of my degree has really sparked my interests and plans for the future. I've loved learning about the history and politics of our education system, and the course has enabled me to have a better understanding of current events, contemporary schooling, and social issues.

“The Education Studies course provides a fantastic understanding of modern society and encourages a lot of critical engagement with the world, and Fine Art as allowed me to nurture my creativity and practical skills with both courses complimenting each other well. I feel very lucky to have spent three years studying something I really, truly, have loved.”

Elizabeth plans to spend the next year volunteering and helping others before embarking on further study in autumn 2022. She said: “I would like to go into educational welfare or psychology and so for now gaining a wealth of experience working with young people is really important to me.”

Elizabeth was nominated for the University’s Ellan Vannin Prize for Academic Work in Education Studies by her tutors, Dr Helen Eadon-Sinkinson and Dr Paul Skillen for her excellent academic work.

Helen said: “Elizabeth is a remarkable student who has continuously strived for excellence in her work. She has shown determination from the start, overcoming numerous hurdles and truly deserves the University award for her academic work. I have no doubt that Elizabeth's experience and compassion will help her in her chosen career.”

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