Mica Coleman-Jones

Patron's Award

2022

Patron's Award

Mica had a challenging experience of school and continuing education as an adult, but things began to turn around for Mica when she found her love of learning and passion to become a teacher. Since then, she has flown through numerous courses in education.

I had a difficult home life which, combined with undiagnosed autism, meant that my school and college experiences were far from positive. My relationship with my mum fell apart, and I was temporarily placed in a homeless hostel. I had little money and my college welfare adviser supported me by ensuring I had vouchers to pay for basic things. Furthermore, the shared accommodation I moved into caught fire which meant that I had to squat in an empty building to finish my course.

I was fortunate to receive a HKF scholarship to go to university. I was keen to work in special education, as I have three autistic siblings. I took additional courses in SEN and am now enrolled in an MA in Educational Enquiry and Professional Learning. I have been able to progress into roles including assistant headteacher and Head of Autism Research and Development.

My autistic sister Lilya was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 12, and we sadly lost her 7 months later. In Lilya’s memory, I plan to open a school where happiness and wellbeing is the primary focus for all students. My goal is a kinder world where difference is embraced and celebrated.

Shahida Aslam, Director of Operations at Helena Kennedy Foundation, said:

“It has been a joy to see how far Mica has come since her first bursary in teacher training. I’m so proud to see her thrive while continuing to push herself. She hasn’t stopped raising her own ambitions, and it’s wonderful to see her helping to raise those of people around her too.”