It’s not just members of the local community who have benefitted from Sam’s dedication, she’s used her own experiences as a parent to support students with caring responsibilities.
“As a mature student, with three children, going back to education was difficult. Students with caring responsibilities often face a host of challenges, mainly the difficulty with experiencing university life, finding friends, or being able to attend social events.
“I wanted to expand my network and create a support system that I felt was lacking for people like me,” Sam said.
In her second year Sam served as the Mature Student Community Officer and helped rewrite the policy on pregnant students but she wanted to do more.
In her final year, as students with children struggled with additional challenges brought on by the pandemic, she served as Student Parents and Carers Rep.
“People were having a very difficult time. It was an honour that people would share their stories and situations with me. I felt humbled to be the person everyone felt they could turn to and trust to take their feelings forward,” she said.
Sam, who is staying at Essex to study an LLM International Human Rights Law, hopes to qualify as a solicitor specialising in family law.
She says this of her Essex experience: “It has been tough – raising three children while completing a law degree during a pandemic has been no easy feat. However, it has been such a wonderful time and given me so many opportunities to grow and learn.”