Maxine Schamely

Individual Regional Awards
London

A difficult childhood left Maxine without a decent education, and she entered adult life with no qualifications. At 17, Maxine had a son, and in order to feed and clothe him she took jobs as a cleaner, working on the market, as a childminder, in factories and in shops.

Maxine enjoyed her work, but when she developed Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she realised she’d have to take less physical roles. At the age of 44, Maxine enrolled on basic literacy, numeracy and bookkeeping courses at City and Islington College, seeking a career in accountancy. On enrolling, Maxine was assessed and diagnosed with dyslexia, but progressed through several exams and is currently studying higher-tier GCSE maths and English.

“Being able to get good grades over such a short period has given me immense pleasure, and, for the first time in my life, a real confidence in my abilities,” said Maxine. “I hope now to develop a career in a professional area such as teaching or accounting, an ambition which I would never have dreamed of when I left school.”

Award Winners
“I hope now to develop a career in a professional area such as teaching or accounting, an ambition which I would never have dreamed of when I left school.”
Maxine Schamely, 2010 Award Winner