A single mum-of-three, who moved to Coventry from overseas in search of a brighter future, has described the city’s further education provider as a blessing for her family.
Memunat Oguntoyinbo – also known as Yemi by her friends – moved to Coventry in 2017 with her children, after spending 16 years in Amsterdam.
Yemi, aged 47, arrived in the UK without any recognised qualifications. Despite years of education in her native Nigeria, she approached Coventry College for support in 2018, after seeing her daughter, Munirat, excel in her Access to Higher Education course at the college, before going on to study Public Health at Coventry University.
Yemi said: “In 2017 I knew I needed to provide a better future for my family and given the strong historical Commonwealth ties that Nigeria has with the UK, I decided to take a chance and move over to Coventry.
“It was a big move, but it’s been the best decision I have ever made.
“When I arrived in Coventry, I had no qualifications that were of use to be able to get a job and Coventry College really threw me a lifeline.
“I didn’t have the confidence to approach the College at first, but once I saw how my daughter had developed, it gave me the confidence to give it a go.
“I enrolled onto their Functional Skills Entry Level 3 English course, and after completing this and the Level 1 English fast-track I was eventually able to take my English GCSE, where I achieved a grade 6, and also a grade 4 in Maths.
“This has opened so many doors for me, as I am now studying an Access to Higher Education course in Social Sciences at Coventry College. The plan is then for me to study psychology and counselling at university, as I really enjoy creating motivational speeches in my spare time and I have ambitions to become a counsellor.
“Not only that, the qualifications I have gained while at the College have also enabled me to secure a part-time job as a support worker, when I am juggling five days of work with two days of study.
“If there’s one lesson I will take away from my time at Coventry College, it’s that you can achieve anything if you have the right people around you to support you.”
Coventry College tutor Jane Stafford helped Yemi to develop her English, and is tipping her to go far.
Jane added: “Yemi is full of determination. She takes advice on board and is a quick learner, so she de-serves all of the success that comes her way. Seeing her confidence and her English flourish, has been really rewarding.”
“Most importantly though she loves a challenge and it’s this characteristic that will take her to wherever she wants to go with her career.”