Love to learn – Adam’s story Here Adam shares his inspiring story of how he reached his learning goals in spite of the many obstacles that stood in his way... I was born into a large supposedly respectable working-class family from South East Manchester. Though there was not the type of poverty that characterizes the inner city we often went without. As an early reader I was identified as being academically bright from an early age, but education was not a priority in our family and the expectation was that I would find employment as soon as I was of age. I actually dropped out of school at 14 in part due to a plethora of undiagnosed learning difficulties that made education a type of purgatory. Fast forward twenty years and I was not in a good place, childhood abuse and poor life decisions had taken their toll. It was after a particularly difficult time that I found myself in a body brace after breaking three vertebra in my spine. "What next?" I asked myself. Going back to education... Returning to education seemed a low impact alternative to employment. Within a few months I had enrolled myself on a full-time foundation course at an adult education college. My first day started inauspiciously when the course head took me aside and told me she had serious misgivings about my ability. Proving someone wrong can give a person real impetus and I finished with a merit. What this taught me was nothing was going to be handed to me on a plate and indeed this was proven during my time at university. People, especially young ones, are very quick to judge on appearance and those displaying any 'otherness', will struggle to fit in. University experience... Social exclusion aside, university opened up in me a love of religious study. Why, thought I, should theology be limited to written narrative, when mathematics and quantum physics provide such interesting paradigms to discuss the ontological argument through? My most abiding love affair however was with theology as a source of social change as advocated in the Liberation Theologies. To my surprise illiterate old me graduated with 1st class honours and the chancellor’s award for academic achievement. I continue to study, it's a labour of love, but not sure where I'm going as I haven't got there yet... Has Adam's story inspired you to enter our competition? Take a look at how you can get involved here.