Hailsham-based Chrissie Price, originally from Eastbourne, is a regional finalist in the learndirect Inspiration Awards, organised by the online learning provider to recognise people who go the extra mile to develop their skills.
Chrissie, 44, was working as a travel agent late in 2013 when she decided her true calling was in the classroom, but discovered she needed a level two qualification in maths to pursue her chosen career path.
With the help of a tutor, she completed a learndirect course at Eastbourne Library, going on to earn a level two teaching assistant qualification at Sussex Downs College and land a teaching assistant job at Causeway School.
She returned to the library last summer to complete the ECDL level two course, an internationally-recognised computer skills qualification which enabled her to progress to a level three teaching assistant qualification.
After being promoted to cover supervisor and taking Maths and English lessons at Causeway, she has now begun a teacher training post at the school and will begin her teaching degree in September.
Chrissie said: “From the moment I walked into the library, all the staff at learndirect were friendly, helpful and positive that I would gain the qualification I wanted.
“I couldn’t have done it without the help and support they gave and I’d recommend anyone who would like to gain additional qualifications and knowledge to go and speak to the staff at learndirect.”
Chrissie has been shortlisted in the career progression category of the awards, the southern region final of which will be held in May 2015, with winners progressing to the national final.
Rebecca Beesley, learning services manager at East Sussex County Council, said: “The great benefit of completing a learndirect course at a local library is the flexibility of being able to fit studying around work and family responsibilities.
“With the help of the course and the support she received at the library, Chrissie has made really significant changes to her life in a very short space of time, while being a mum to three young girls.”
The learndirect courses, delivered by the county council at libraries in Eastbourne and Hastings, see participants receive ongoing support from tutors, attending regular sessions and working at home.
More information is available by calling 01323 463903 or online at https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/libraries/learndirect/sign-up/
More information about the learndirect awards is available at www.learndirect.com/awards