Mollie Street is the first to admit she was a real pain to teachers at school, and got little out of it. Yet, three years on, she can look to 2015 with optimism after a big change of attitude.
Immediately after picking up a pretty poor set of GCSE results from Spalding’s Sir John Gleed School, she walked in tears around to its Post-16 Centre and begged to be taken on to a BTEC performing arts and musical theatre course.
Mollie (now 19) had nothing like the minimum qualifications, but empathetic tutors granted her a month’s trial basis – and she seized the opportunity.
Three years later – thanks to the help of many including tutor Darren Maddison, Nikki Saines and student manager Maxine Sharpe – she left the college with two distinction* grades and a distinction.
That set her up for a place studying performing arts at the University of Bedfordshire.
Mollie’s lack of application at school contributed to her struggling with the theory side of her portfolio during a tough first semester.
Yet with the help of tutorials and other extra support, she has been able to come home to Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, for the Christmas break and get to grips with it all.
It’s all a far cry from where she was until relatively recently.
Honest Mollie says she hated life at school and regularly ended up in seclusion for disobedience.
“I didn’t care about school,” she said. “I didn’t want to be there and I was only there because I had to be.
“But halfway through Year 11, I realised I really needed to start doing something about my life. I wanted to make amends.”
She added: “You only get one life; you have got to live it.”
Mollie is full of praise for Darren, who supported her immensely at college and encouraged her to take part in shows for Spalding’s Polka Dot Academy of Performing Arts, for which he is a director.
Darren, who left his college tutoring role last Easter, said: “I think Mollie will fly now.
“I’m really excited for her because she has worked hard and she deserves it.”