A teenager determined to turn her life around after a poor start is in the final of a Cambridgeshire-wide competition hailing young people’s achievements.
Although Ronnie Hill, 18, of Bath Road, Wisbech, left school without qualifications, she is now determined to make something of herself by studying child care at the College of West Anglia.
This is on top of helping her single mum look after her younger siblings – one of whom has a learning difficulty.
Now she is in the final of the Linx Young People of the Year or the YOPEYs – ‘Oscars’ for young people who give to others.
The YOPEYs are “Revealing, Recognising and Rewarding” young unsung heroes across Cambridgeshire and there is £2,000 in prize money for young winners to share with the community.
Ronnie was nominated by Margaret Goman, programme manager for childcare for College of West Anglia, Isle Campus.
“Ronnie has been faced with a number of personal and domestic challenges throughout the course, but she has had a single vision about the importance of getting good qualifications and progressing into employment.
“She has taken on a considerable support role within her family for her siblings.
“As well as helping her parent Ronnie has still managed to keep on performing above target and behave in a mature and responsible manner at all times.”
Ronnie has just completed her Level Two Certificate programme Health and Social Care and Childcare with a Distinction. And after another year’s study she hopes to go on to either help young children or the elderly.
Margaret said: “The thing we noticed most about Ronnie is her desire to achieve and do well for herself and her family. This is a credit to Ronnie.
“She is aware that she needs to get a number of qualifications to achieve her dreams and move forward as quickly as she can.”
Ronnie struggled with academic subjects when she was at Thomas Clarkson Community Academy in Wisbech. She left in 2012, with “a few Ds” after her GSCEs. However, she is determined to grab this latest chance and hopes to retake English and maths in the future.
“I want to get as much knowledge as I can, so I can help the elderly, like people with dementia. I really enjoy helping people.
“I help my 15-year-old brother Joshua and sister Kim. Joshua has ADHD so I go to his plays, sports day and talk to him about his trips. I help my younger sister Kim with education and I’ll help cook dinner, help with homework.
“They do need a little bit of extra support, and at the end of the day I don’t mind doing that because they are very important to me. I’ll even give my little sister pocket money out of my own money.”
Ronnie manages to find the time to do a part-time job looking after children. And now she’s hoping to find even more work so she can help her mum single parent, Sanie.
An awards ceremony will be held in Ely Cathedral during the autumn.
Sponsors of the awards include: Cambridge Regional College, Linx, Hutchinsons of Wisbech. For more information go to http://yopey.org/