Degree helps inspirational mum achieve career goals
Perseverance pays off for mum-of-three
Siama Kausar, 33, completed the foundation year of the BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology degree at UCLan in 2009, but further studies were put on hold after raising daughters Tehreem, 12 and Annaiyah, eight, as well as son Raees, six.
She returned to the University 10 years later to fulfil her ambition of completing the full degree and after graduating is now preparing to embark upon a career working within the probation service, using her new skills and experience to make a difference to the lives of others.
"To anyone in the same position I was, I would say it’s never too late – just go for it, you won’t regret it."
There were plenty of challenges along the way for Siama, 33, who balanced her studies and busy family life with a job working night shifts as a mental health support worker within a forensic secure unit, in addition to acting as a carer for a family member.
She made the most of the support of her UCLan tutors as well as the flexible nature of the course and helpful resources including online libraries.
Siama, who lives in Crumpsall with her family, said: “Sometimes life gets in the way of our plans but what I’ve hopefully shown people is that it is possible to pursue your dreams. When my youngest child started nursery I realised this was the right time to finally get back on track with my studies.
“To anyone in the same position I was, I would say it’s never too late – just go for it, you won’t regret it. There were times I could have given up but with the support of my family and UCLan I kept going and it’s been so worth it.
“I’d like to thank my family, especially my husband Mushtaq, my parents and my sister. I’ve also had a lot of support from my UCLan tutors, Sue Uttley-Evans and Leslie Martin – I can’t emphasise enough how great they’ve been.”
Siama is now applying for jobs in the probation service as she wants to use what she’s learnt to help benefit others.
She added: “Probation is an area I’m particularly interested in because often when people come out of prison they end up reoffending and the cycle continues. It’s important to work with people to show them that they can change their paths, if they utilise the support in place.”
Siama is one of 3,500 students who graduated in front of family and friends on the University’s Preston Campus this week.