Returning to education at 36 was not an easy decision for Emma Tunnicliffe, who is running for Education Faculty rep.
The mother of three had never attended higher education before beginning her course in Education and Training last September.
She lends her confidence to partaking in voluntary work, which helped her when she was elected class rep: “Before I came back to education, I did a lot of voluntary work in my community over the past couple of years.”
Emma hopes to ease the transition of Education students from DCU’s campus to St. Pat’s. The students in Education and Training will move to the other campus following the amalgamation of DCU, St. Pats and Mater Dei.
“I know there’s students in flexible learning courses that want to stay on DCU for the amenities.”
She hopes to organise campus tours and meetings with the ambassadors at St. Pats for students making the move.
She will visit the St. Pat’s campus as part of her campaign to introduce herself to students there.
She credits the Aisling program which helped her connect with young people from troubled backgrounds in the Ballymun area.
“It gave me the confidence to go back to college.”
The Aisling project is a community centre that teaches at-risk young people new social skills and provides them with a safe space to hang out after school and a hot meal. It gives them a leadership training course which enables them to pass on what they learn during their time.
She has three children aged 18, 15 and 10. She initially found it difficult to begin college but says she has a great support network.
“My kids have been brilliant. My son was helping me stamp posters in the SU yesterday. They think it’s hilarious that mammy is running for election.”