Inspirational speech made by a current BTEI Learner

February 10, 2015

Speech at Graduation from BTEI Employability Skills Course

By: Bernie Mullen

I discovered the Back To Education Initiative three years ago…. I saw an advertisement in the local newspaper and applied for it; I was accepted onto an Employability skills course and began my journey with Our Lady’s lsland Group.

It was my first time being back in a learning/classroom situation since I left school at 15 to help supplement our family’s income….. with no Leaving certificate, and no formal qualifications, (only a Degree from the University of Life), I did wonder if I was even capable of learning… However… with the help and support of the BTEI and WWETB I found that not only am I capable of learning, but I am good at it and that I actually enjoyed it. I am looking forward to learning even more.

At 56 years of age with five children and five grandchildren and an ever increasing voluntary workload (l’m just the girl who can’t say no) and actively serving on several different Boards and Committees…. it is sometimes not very easy to commit and apply yourself to something like this but it certainly has its own rewards. Some of the modules have been easier than others ….I think we all have a favourite module (mine was IT by the way) and other modules were to say the least…. well a challenge! Maths is my particular nemesis.

But do you know what, with the help and support of the Tutors and my classmates, I made it! Much to the relief of my poor husband and family members who were subjected to nightly Maths homework questions when they only wanted to watch the football. I have been out of the workforce for many years, and believed that I am unemployable, and there would never be an opportunity to get back out there and make a valuable contribution to society. Now, I dare to believe differently. As they say it has been a learning curve….. One that has led to a new found confidence in me. I have gained knowledge and skills, and a self-respect that eluded me when I thought that there was only one way forward…..l have enjoyed the experience, have made new friends with some wonderful people, I have discovered that life is not only for living, but also for learning……… roll on the next module!!!

Bernie Mullen, delivering her inspirational
speech at the BTEI Celebration of Learning
Evening, February 2015


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