Mitchell Graham recently joined Deaf Action as our Youth Club Co-ordinator. He shares his journey with education and the work that led him to where he is now.
Gap year inspiration
Mitchell attended Mary Hare School before applying to college to do Engineering. When the time came to start the course, he felt it wasn’t right for him and took a gap year. This included voluntary work allowing him to try a variety of different things.
Through volunteering, Mitchell discovered that he really enjoyed working with young people and had a natural inclination towards this. Although this was an exciting revelation, it meant going to university and studying hard to get his degree.
Admittedly, Mitchell’s first year was tough after underestimating how demanding university would be, as well as the communication support needed for effective learning. Late to apply for this support, he was told he would not be able to get this crucial help until the third year of his studies.
Mitchell wishes he had investigated this sooner, however he continued his studies and was lucky to get an interpreter funded by the university. After official support started in third year, Mitchell felt more confident with his course and started to enjoy it more.
Degree to job
Mitchell landed a job working with young people straight after he obtained his degree – a huge a relief after 5 years of hard work.
Reflecting on his experience, Mitchell suggests that if young people are thinking of higher education, do thorough research into the course and what is required. This will help students work out how many hours of communication support is needed from interpreters and note takers. Contacting the university directly is also a great way to fully understand what is required and helps to answer queries about accommodation for example.
As Mitchell experienced issues with communication support, he would urge all potential students to apply for SAAS at least 6 months before courses start, to ensure support funding is in place.
Check out our blogs to meet other deaf role models like Mitchell!