After falling pregnant at 14 and having to leave school, a young hardworking mom, has successfully graduated from university, with her daughter by her side.
As Rachael Campey happily walked across the stage at Leeds Trinity University to receive her counselling psychology degree, her 6-year-old baby girl, Lily-Rose, was right there.
The 21-year-old revealed she felt overwhelmed with happiness to be able to collect her degree with her daughter, after going through a ‘very dark path’ in her younger years.
“I saw Lily-Rose’s face as I put my gown and my cap on when I was getting ready for the ceremony, and it just made it all feel so worthwhile. I just felt a lot of completion throughout the day. I felt overwhelming love and pride from my family, and from myself, as well as my daughter.” Rachael said.
Rachael who had to study while working and trying to balance her parental responsibilities, said having her daughter made all the sleepless nights and hours of revision worth it. The new graduate also revealed that her daughter was ‘smiling all day long’.
“When I was writing my dissertation, she was doing homework at the side of me, so she gets how long a process it has been. They accidentally pronounced my surname wrong when I went onto the stage to collect my degree, and I heard her correct them and say “that’s my mummy”’ The proud mom said.
Rachael said she had to leave school months after she discovered she was pregnant at just 14, as the school was unable to support her.
With time, she worked her way up to going to York College and on to university. She strived to achieve everything she has in order to give her little girl the best possible future.
“If I hadn’t had Lily-Rose, because I was struggling with my mental health, I don’t think I would be here now. She changed my whole perception. I was on a very dark path before I had her, and she brightened it all up.” She said.
Rachael reveals she endured so much bullying before starting her degree that she almost dropped out of university completely.
“I had so many moments in 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?’
“But the whole environment at Leeds Trinity was amazing – it was the first time I really felt supported in what I wanted to do.” She said.
Now, Rachael wants to encourage other single parents to chase their dreams and not give up on themselves, by proving it’s still possible.
“If you’re a young parent and you’ve suffered with mental health issues, it doesn’t mean the end of your goals. You can still work towards them whenever you’re ready. Just because somebody says you can’t do it doesn’t mean you can’t actually do it, because you can if you really want to.” Rachael said.
The young mom has been nominated for the inspirational individual award at the 2020 Yorkshire Choice awards.
What an inspirational young woman you are Rachael!
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