TWO UCC students will feature in a new RTÉ documentary, charting their path to third level education through the university’s Access and Participation programme.
My Uni Life, due to be broadcast on Friday, November 6 on RTÉ One at 7.30pm, is a five-part series which follows seven students at various stages of their university experience.
The series aims to spotlight the unique path into education for more than 5,000 students each year, whose desire to succeed at third level is facilitated and supported by the Access and Disability programmes.
The first Cork student to feature in the series is Chrisdina O’Neill, a Professional Masters of Education student from Charleville. Chrisdina is from the Traveller community and is the first in her family to progress to third level.
“Taking part in the documentary has meant a lot. It was initially a very daunting prospect, but after considering it, I then knew that it would be for the betterment of the Traveller community,” says Chrisdina.
“Getting to share my experience of university was so important to break down the barriers and stigma around university within marginalised communities.”
Also featuring in the series is first-year International Development student, Denise Kelleher, from Mayfield.
“It was great to show that no matter your background, university is for everyone. It was also good to give my parents a shout-out for encouraging me to do my best in school. Without their support and extra push, I would never have carried on with my education.”
The show will document the seven students’ journeys through university life; from dealing with the challenges of having a disability to the stereotypes associated with socially disadvantaged backgrounds, and having the courage to go to university at a later stage in life.
Olive Byrne, Head of Access and Participation is excited with regards to the potential impact of the documentary.
“This documentary will share inspiring stories of resilient, determined, talented students who have unlocked their potential as a result of accessing third level education. These stories will encourage and enthuse parents, teachers, and adults. It will encourage them to dream big!”