Eimear Callaghan, from Pouladuff Road, studied Social Science at University College Cork and before continuing on to study for a Masters Degree in Social Work, had to complete over 400 hours of relevant work experience.
Eimear then spent an academic term from 2016 until June 2017 as a volunteer teacher in the Cork Life Centre.
It's an experience she says had a profound impact on her.
"Before I started, I have to admit that I was apprehensive.
"I didn't know what to expect as I think there's a certain stereotype out there in terms of what kind of person an early school leaver is. I found out that there is no one size fits all label, however.
"I really admire the individualistic approach the Cork Life Centre takes in catering to the needs of students.
"My time there was so amazing. If I could have stayed on, I would have, but I got my place in the Masters programme," Eimear said.
The Cork Life Centre is the focus of a two-part Virgin Media documentary,, the first of which aired last night.
Lauding the programme, Eimear said it is helping to "debunk the myths surrounding early school leavers".
Last night, after watching the first instalment, Eimear was inspired to set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with the running costs of the Centre.
"The Centre operates on a shoestring budget.
"From year to year there is uncertainty as to whether it can open those red doors to the wonderful young people who need it," she explained.
"I know during this pandemic people are struggling but a little goes a long way and if people are in the position to do so, I would really appreciate any contribution."
If you would like to donate to Eimear's GoFundMe, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jfbe9-cork-life-centre?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1