Jul 2023 / Learners News

A woman who quit her high-flying finance career to teach ‘adulting lessons’ to youngsters has been given the star treatment with the help of learners. 

Laura Abraham set up The Grown-Up School in 2019 to support young people to feel more prepared for adult life. Offering information on topics from accounting to mortgages, the site has become an acclaimed free online resource. 

The Grown-Up School was recognised at this year’s National StartUp Awards winning Wales’ Education and Training StartUp of the Year. And, continuing to champion young learners, Laura enlisted the help of Cardiff and Vale College and ACT learners to get her ready for the event. 

Fashion design students at CAVC, Alexandra Carey and Tori Elliott, put their creative heads together to design and create Laura’s outfit for the evening by upcycling vintage clothes. 

While hair and make-up for the event was put together by ACT learners, Tia-Lee Bridle who worked on the hair, Tia Mahon on makeup and Milla Bram on nails. 

Laura Abraham, who recently joined ACT’s Jobs Growth Wales+ provision as a Skills Tutor, said: “At almost every school I teach in there is at least one student in every class with a notebook in their bag, clamouring to show me their clothing designs.  

“Of course, when I got nominated for the awards, the panic of ‘what am I going to wear?’ came up, and rather than going into a shop to buy an outfit, these students came to mind.  

I want to encourage the passion I see every time a student whips out their notebooks to show me their work. I don’t want them to be discouraged by the enormous challenges people in creative industries face. I want them to believe that they can craft the careers they dream about.   

“This gives the awards so much more meaning to me, to share my platform with others, and show off their hard work.” 

Leon Patnett, Head of Youth Engagement and Training at ACT, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our learners to not only get key hands-on experience in their field but also get to see their hard work recognised in a prestigious setting. This experience will have a lasting impact, not just because it can be documented for their future portfolios but because they were trusted with such an important task early on in their career. We think they did an incredible job.” 

Cardiff and Vale College Group Principal Kay Martin said: “It’s really important that our learners get live opportunities like these that offer real and not just realistic experience of what life in their chosen career will be like. Laura making the shortlist for these awards also offered a fantastic opportunity for two members of the CAVC Group to work closely together.”