A Novel way to learn at The Foyer

September 16, 2013

FOYER resident Shirelle True is heading to Edinburgh University to study an English Literature and Language degree after achieving excellent ‘A’ level results and she now has her sights set on becoming a published author.

The 18-year-old registered an ‘A’ in English Language and a ‘B’ in both English Literature and History, which enabled her to enrol on the degree course at Edinburgh, which she will start in September.

Shirelle has resided at the Foyer for just over 12 months and the move to Scotland completes a fantastic year for her, which has seen her develop independent living skills, get a part-time job and pass all her exams with flying colours.

I moved into the Foyer from a foster placement, so I didn’t have many independent skills,” she said.

“I knew the basics but I didn’t know how to cook, so I had a lot of support in my first few weeks at the Foyer.”

And she praised YMCA staff for the way they handled her transition into the 26-bed unit in Grimsby.

She continued: “I was allowed to move in on a gradual basis because I still had a lot of ties at my foster placement and this was very helpful to me.

“I also didn’t know anything about what I had to do to apply for Housing Benefit and things like that but the support team were there to guide me through the process.”

Whilst staying at the Foyer, Shirelle has always been very focused on our studies.

She attended Franklin College and did ‘AS’ levels in Drama and Theatre and also ‘A’ levels in English Literature, English Language and History.

She admits that it was a dream come true to achieve the results that enabled her to enrol at Edinburgh University:

“I have always wanted to go to university and more specifically always wanted to go to Edinburgh.

“Even though I have never been to Edinburgh before, I have always wanted to go there and the university sounds ideal for me.

“I achieved an ‘A’ in my English Language and ‘Bs’ in my English Literature and History but I was very close to ‘As’ in all three subjects.

“The support from the YMCA to get me to university has been fantastic – they have helped with my accommodation, fees and helped me apply for bursaries.

“The Foyer is an excellent place to base yourself for your studies because you learn whilst you are learning to live, which stands you in good stead for moving to university

“But you still have the comfort of knowing that there is someone there to fall back on and support you if you need it.”

Away from studying, Shirelle has always shown a keen interest in reading and writing and she worked part-time in a local library alongside her studies.

She stated: “I worked on Saturday mornings at a local library and it was an ideal job for me because I have ambitions of becoming an English teacher in the future and the library post gives you a taste of what it is like to work with children.”

But those ambitions might go out of the window if Shirelle’s latest project bears fruit, as she explained.

“I have started writing my own novel. It is a fantasy-based novel but I am trying to steer away from any supernatural element, as that is already covered by a lot of other writers.

“I write for a fan fiction website but that is just a hobby. I am already three chapters into my book and Andrew Delve (Foyer Coach) has been very supportive in looking at my work so far and offering feedback for me.

“He also helped me overcome a little bit of writer’s block, which I had when I was doing my exams.

“My aim now is to get to university and finish the book off in my spare time so I can look at getting it published.”