Jodi Hawker has overcome her fear of returning to education and has graduated from Coleg Sir Gâr with a foundation degree in counselling.
Counselling sessions received earlier in her life, gave Jodi the inspiration to study but doubts in her academic abilities together with a painful history of childhood abuse, planted seeds of hesitance. However, she finally took the plunge and slowly worked her way up the counselling ladder to achieve a foundation degree with a distinction grade.
During her studies, Jodi was fostering children and looking after her own two children including her son who suffers from Tourette’s and autistic spectrum disorder. Her brother also very suddenly passed away during the start of the course.
Clearly, the first year of study was challenging and on the advice of her tutors, she visited the college learning support team who identified that she had dyslexia and dyspraxia. “This was very scary,” said Jodi. “But it also helped me understand why I found things difficult; it wasn’t because I wasn’t clever enough.”
Jodi began to enjoy learning and recognised various approaches to counselling such as Carl Rogers’ person centred therapy and Gerald Egan’s framework, which also helped her in her foster care work which she has been involved with for 17 years.
Jodi Hawker said: “Ammanford campus is a really friendly place to be, I love the surroundings, it felt relaxed.
“Course tutors and learning support have been brilliant, the course is very deep and you do a lot of work on yourself but with tutor support we got through it and I wouldn’t change it for the world, it has changed my life.”
Despite a job offer, Jodi is progressing to a BA honours counselling course at Coleg Sir Gâr and will continue counselling voluntarily for a local authority.
Pic: Jodi Hawker who has graduated with distinction in a foundation degree in counselling at Coleg Sir Gâr. Pic credit Linda Wellington.