Chesterfield College Student wins Festival of Learning Award

Joyce Abumujor

Joyce Abumujor has been announced as the winner of the Festival of Learning Outstanding Individual Learner Award 2018, for her exceptional achievement in adult learning. This award recognises adults who, through learning, have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities, and the places they work. 

Growing up in Nigeria, Joyce wanted to train as a mechanic, but was denied this opportunity because of her gender.

After fleeing her own country in search of safety, she settled in the UK and raised her family. Joyce remained keen to get the education she always dreamed of and in 2016, she signed up for construction courses at Chesterfield College.

Having completed Level 1 Plumbing and Level 2 Bricklaying, Joyce is now studying for Level 2 Plumbing. She has also started a Law degree at the University of Derby and plans to access other courses to gain the skills she needs. 

Joyce has set her sights on setting up and running an organisation that teaches construction skills to women and girls in Nigeria, enabling them to build a career and a brighter future. On a mission to help change the lives of vulnerable women and girls in Nigeria, Joyce returned to learning to develop her construction skills.  

Joyce commented on how learning has impacted her life: “Now I’m back in education nothing is going to stop me. I want to be part of making a change and my learning is giving me the tools to do that.” 

Joyce’s Plumbing tutor at Chesterfield College, Steve Collins, said: “If the passion for education Joyce has shown in college is anything to go by we are confident she will do great things with the skills she is learning.”

Vanessa Watson, Curriculum Operations Manager at Chesterfield College said:

“Joyce is a great role model and a real ambassador for women in construction. She’s got a plan and she knows where she wants to go with her career. Others see that and are inspired by it.”

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said:

“Joyce’s determination to learn and not give up her chance to have the career she wanted is inspirational to other people who may be facing barriers to achieve their ambition. We are delighted to give this award to Joyce who is using her new skills to help change the lives of women like her “

"Festival of Learning is all about inspirational stories of people like Joyce that show that anyone can benefit from learning. Lifelong learning is vital for all of us as jobs and society change around us. We encourage everyone to give learning a try, particularly in June when hundreds of free activities can be found on our Have a Go Month calendar. Further information on learning opportunities and support with the costs of courses is available through the National Careers Service, colleges and community learning providers."

Find out more about Joyce's story here.