African born Miss Christine Banda, now a British citizen moved to the UK to start a new life in 2003. Christine is a single mum of 5, who lives with her four children in Manchester – Maxine, aged two, Nathan, nine, Celine, 10 and Frank 14. A fifth – David, aged 18 – is himself studying for a marketing degree at Birmingham University.
This amazing mother of 5 has been honoured for her outstanding performance at the university of Boston despite the huge challenges of single handedly raising her children. This means that when Christine is carrying out her parenting duties, her Ipad and note books are never far away, using every minute possible to learn. This determination to succeed and graduate in the summer has now been rewarded.
According to The Bolton News, Christine was one of the five students honoured at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) Outstanding Information Technology Student Awards.
The five students were honoured based on their academic performance, entrepreneurial skills and their contribution to charity.
She initially studied for a Health and Social Care degree, but felt that because of her passion for computing and website creation she wanted to change direction. 40-year-old Christine said:
“I have four children to look after as a single parent and it is a real challenge to fit studies around that. But I have managed it and I am here to try I inspire other mothers who feel that they may have missed out on education that it can be done.
It needs hard work, passion and organisation, but it is possible. Education and learning is so important. I had the passion, commitment and skills to study a different degree, but I did not have any academic qualifications in computing.
Changing courses meant that I had to do a Foundation year. So I did that and then after the first year of my three year degree course I took a break as I became pregnant with my youngest child.
Once she was born, I spent some time at home with her until she was eight months old and then I returned to university to continue years two and three of my degree.
Being presented with the award was amazing. Travelling to London to collect it was amazing – it was a fantastic day.”
But despite her taste of the high life, Christine is still firmly focused on making sure she graduates with the best results possible in the summer – and that means working hard. She added:
“If I have a lecture in the morning I make sure I am in university all day to study and do my work in the afternoon, as obviously I need to take care of the children.
Even when I am at home cooking or ironing I will make sure I take the opportunity to read about a particular subject to help with my studies. I have to fit in my learning whenever I possibly can. At first I found the course really challenging, as I was learning everything from scratch.
I want to tell people that being a mother should not be a barrier. It absolutely can be done. It needs hard work, passion and organisation, but it is possible.
Education and learning are so important; your capacity for thinking changes completely. The University of Bolton has been very good and opened my eyes to a different world.”
Photo credit: The Bolton News