Among the Carlow College, St. Patrick’s students receiving their degrees in a virtual conferring ceremony today Friday 20th November 2020, is mother-daughter pair: Debbie and Andrea Kearney, who will mark the end to a long, but very fulfilling 4 year journey. The mother and daughter graduate with Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Social Studies (Professional Social Care) and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English & History, respectively.
Debbie had worked as a Bus Driver for much of her life and had doubts about returning to education after almost 30 years. She ultimately enrolled because she thought a degree in Social Care would give her the footing she needed to help others in a bigger way. Andrea had completed an Animal Care course after leaving school and was working towards becoming a horse riding instructor, when she decided to completely change her career path and apply for an English & History degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a secondary school teacher.
Throughout their degree programmes, they were able to lean on each other, but also find helpful resources within the Carlow College community. “We’ve pushed and motivated each other during some very hard nights and some very early mornings,” Debbie said. “And we just kind of kept going together and making it happen.” Since they started their degree together, they were determined to finish together.
“This is a really special moment because graduating with my mam is amazing. We both get to watch the ceremony together and see each other graduate,” Andrea said.
Debbie added: “I’m so proud of everything Andrea has accomplished and it was a privilege to share this academic journey with her and it is an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life”.
Speaking about the Conferring Ceremony 2020 and Debbie and Andrea’s story, President of Carlow College, St. Patrick’s Fr Conn O Maoldhomhnaigh said “I acknowledge Debbie and Andrea’s wonderful achievement. In doing so I congratulate all our 2020 graduates. Dealing with COVID 19 made extra demands on our students and staff and they rose magnificently to the challenge. I am very proud of them. I wish the graduating of 2020 every success in the future.”