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International Women’s Day 2021 #ChooseToChallenge - Liza-Jo

I met a girl on the bus...

It was 1996 and I was on the bus with my small child, I got chatting with a girl on the bus with her small child. She told me that she was on the way to ‘college’ where she was going to do a course and that the college paid for travel, the nursery and bought her lunch. That was the crux of the conversation.

I was 28, I couldn’t read or write and had no qualifications due to a travelling childhood and a mother who, as an opioid addict, needed my help constantly (I went to work full time at 14).

I stayed with the girl on the bus and went to college where I ended up on a six week 'Learn to learn' course and yes, I learnt to read and write. The tutor was amazing and she told me I would do really well if I did a full-time course, great upsell, I ended up on an Access to Higher Education Science course along with studying two GCSEs. I was sponsored, supported, encouraged and funded, which at the time was the most important thing to me.

I ended up progressing onto university, leaving with a Bachelor's Degree in Science and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. I worked in primary then secondary education before moving to college, where I went from a part-time tutor to senior leader with a Masters in Educational Leadership, I was also fortunate to join the AIM board of Trustees of which I am now the Chair, this is an achievement I am very proud of.

Throughout my life, I never appreciated the challenges that I faced nor the effect on my self-esteem and self-concept over the years. Until I burnt out and I had to face the fact that I had spent my life working too hard, too many hours and not meeting my own physical, intellectual emotional or social needs.

In my 50s, I now live by the words “Put Myself First & Everyone Around Me Benefits”. I have become self-employed and I work the hours I want doing the things I want to do. I’m now a Women’s Empowerment Coach & NLP practitioner helping women to step into their confidence and speak their truth without fear of retribution.

All because I met a girl on the bus…


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