Eromonsele Clements is a third year Mechatronic Engineering student at DCU. In this piece, he describes how the DCU UFirst Outreach Programme inspired him to pursue third level education and why he decided to become an ambassador for DCU and the DCU Access Programme.
“I moved over to Ireland from Nigeria with my mam, my younger brother and my younger sister when I was just four years old. Life in Nigeria wasn’t great at the time, so my mam wanted to move to Ireland to give myself and my siblings a better life.
Growing up in Swords, I always thought that getting a job after leaving school was what most people did. Although my mam emphasised how important education was for creating opportunities and ensuring you won’t struggle in life, I didn’t know anyone that had gone to college so I didn’t see it as a possibility for me. However, it wasn’t until I took part in the DCU Access UFirst programme in fifth year that I realised the mountain of opportunities I had in front of me.
As part of the UFirst programme, I took part in workshops on the DCU Glasnevin Campus where I learned about the different courses DCU had to offer, the HEAR and SUSI grants, and experienced life as a college student through shadowing Access students and going along to a few college society events.
Thanks to the support of the UFirst programme, I decided I wanted to go to college at DCU and study Engineering. I loved studying technology at secondary school, but taking part in the UFirst programme and even getting the chance to build a model rocket at DCU made me realise Engineering was the perfect course for me.
I’m now in my third year studying Mechatronic Engineering at DCU, and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m involved in the DCU Journalism Society and hope to become the Tech Editor for the college paper, The College View, this year. I’m also involved in the Space and Robotics Society and the Engineering Society. Both societies organise really interesting events so I’m looking forward to what they have in store this year.
That being said, I know I wouldn’t be in DCU today if it weren’t for the Access Programme. The support the Access Programme offers to students is fantastic. Back in first year, I was struggling with my maths modules, so Cathy McLoughlin, the Head of Access, put me in touch with the DCU Maths Learning Centre where I received extra support and passed my first year exams.
The financial support from Access has also been a huge help. I have a part-time job, so receiving this income along with the financial support from Access really gives me peace of mind when it comes to the cost of going to college.
“I decided to become an Access Ambassador last year as I felt I have a duty to help secondary school students realise that going to college is an option for them. I really felt inspired seeing people with the same background as me going to college during my time in the UFirst programme, so I hope that I can inspire and educate students to go on to third level education through my work as an Access Ambassador.”
In the future, I’d love to be in a position to donate to the Access Programme and support future students to achieve a third level education. I am so grateful for the support of the Access Programme, and I will continue to be an ambassador for DCU and the Access Programme long after graduating from DCU.”