For Al Linforth, President of Worcester Students’ Union, graduating was a moment they never believed would be possible.
Al, from Swansea, joined the University of Worcester in 2018 following a difficult journey through the education system. “I struggled through primary and secondary school, often finding it difficult to make friends and pay attention in class,” Al recalls. “This affected my self-esteem and mental health to the point where I actually stopped going to school for several months during my GCSEs.
“In college I again struggled, just about scraping passes on my course. I absolutely hated school and college and was so excited to leave education once I turned 18.” Al decided to work full time but two years later after seeing their older sister graduate with friends for life, Al decided to give education “one last shot”.
“I didn’t think I would get into university,” Al said. “But I applied and was accepted by Worcester. In my second week I visited the disability and dyslexia team and took a dyslexia test. During those early weeks I was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD. Everything finally made sense as to why I found school and college so difficult, and I was finally able to receive the right support to help me study.”
During Al’s first year they joined the musical theatre society and before long switched courses to study Drama and Performance (now known as Theatre, Acting and Performance).
Al has graduated with First Class Honours. “I couldn’t have done this without the staff on the Drama and Performance degree, who were extremely accommodating and supportive during my time here,” Al said. “I loved being a student at Worcester, so much so that I’m now the President of the Students’ Union. I hope to use this role to inspire other students with learning disabilities that it is possible to achieve a First Class degree and to enjoy studying again.”
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