A young woman who gave birth to her daughter when she was just 14 years old has shared some touching images of herself earning her college degree while her daughter, who is now six years old, stood by her side.
Rachel Campey, age 21, from Cross Gates, Leeds, carried her mortar board and gown with pride as she graduated from Leeds Trinity University last week.
She stated that it was “overwhelming” to attain academic success after discontinuing her education when she was 15 years old.
Campey, who has been nominated for an inspirational individual award, stated that she had struggled down a “very dark path” as a teenager, including being bullied for being a teenage mother, and she never expected to be able to receive her degree in Counselling Psychology.
Campey has been nominated for an inspirational individual award.
She fought anxiety and the stress of balancing a degree program, a job, and the responsibilities of being a single mother for three years, and she told the PA news agency that the ceremony itself was “really emotional.” This was especially true after she had to deal with these challenges for so long.
“I saw Lily-expression Rose’s as I put my gown and my cap on when I was getting ready for the ceremony, and it just made it feel like it was all worth it,” she added. “It just made me feel like I had accomplished something.”
“I just felt like everything was wrapping up well throughout the day.” I was filled with an enormous sense of love and pride not only from my family but also from myself and my kid.
However, Miss Campey reported that her daughter, who is six years old, was “smiling all day long” despite being little intimidated by the ceremony.
She shared the following statement with PA: “When I was writing my dissertation, she was doing schoolwork by the side of me, so she understands how lengthy of a process it has been.”
“When I went up onto the stage to collect my degree, they mispronounced my last name by accident, and I heard her correct them and say, ‘that’s my mummy.'”
The graduate, who lives in Cross Gates, Leeds, stated that she was forced to leave her school months after she discovered she was pregnant when she was just 14 years old because the institution was unable to support her.
When that, she attended a variety of educational institutions before enrolling at York College and then continuing her education at a university after she graduated from York.
The birth of Miss Campey’s daughter, she explained to PA, motivated her to pursue her education in order to provide the adolescent with the most advantageous opportunities for her future.
She stated that “I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had Lily-Rose since I was dealing with my mental health.”
“She completely altered my way of thinking. Before I met her, I was heading down a road riddled with obstacles, but she turned everything around for the better.
The mother stated that she was bullied in the years leading up to the beginning of her degree, and that she came dangerously close to not continuing her education at one point.
She said, “I had so many moments in the first year where I didn’t think I could do it. I was walking down the hall crying my eyes out going to drop out of university, thinking “this is such a mess, why have I put myself in this situation.”
“I had so many moments in the first year where I didn’t think I could do it.”
“However, the atmosphere as a whole at Leeds Trinity was incredible; it was the first time that I truly felt supported in what it was that I wanted to accomplish,”
She went on to say that if you are a young parent who has struggled with mental health challenges, it does not imply that you have to give up on your ambitions.
You still have the option to work toward achieving them whenever you feel ready to do so.
“Just because somebody tells you that you can’t do it doesn’t mean that you can’t actually do it, because you can if you truly want to,” the speaker said. “If you really want to, you can.”
After achieving a third-class honors in her degree, Miss Campey plans to either continue her education or pursue a career as a public speaker.
She has been shortlisted for the inspirational individual award that will be presented at the Yorkshire Choice awards in 2020.
In addition to this, she is an ambassador for MindMate, an organization inside the NHS that provides help for both young people and professionals.