meet robynn STUDIES: BACHELOR OF ARTS — THIRD YEAR "I come from the inner city in Dublin. I'm the eldest of three and also the first in my family to go to college. I had no kind of knowledge of college before that but I knew I wanted to go. DCU came to my school when I was in 6th year. I sat and listened as they told us what was possible. I always knew that I wanted to be a primary school teacher but because of financial reasons, that felt impossible. DCU showed me I could do it and told me they would help me every step of the way. Now I'm studying Irish and Human Development. I also now go out to the schools and tell the younger kids they can do this. If I can do it, they can do it. We say to those schools’ guidance counsellors, ‘show us three or four students you think have a college ambition but who may not be getting encouragement at home to pursue that at home.’ So, if they have a dream and there’s no one pushing that dream at home, we help fill that gap. Some of these children we try to inspire, they’ve had struggles. They may have lost both parents to drugs. They may be in the care of the state. But they work hard and have drive. DCU Access Programme means that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s incredibly rewarding to tell a younger student 'I'm from Ballybough' and to have one of the lads put his hand up and say 'Oh I'm from there too! I didn't think anyone from Ballybough went to college!' I look at them and say, “ can be the second one.” connect 2018 • 33 education education research research innovation innovation engagement engagement Photos : Aengus McMahon and Dublin City University