Chrisdina O’Neill – University College Cork
Course: BA History & English; Professional Master of Education
From: Charleville, Cork
Chrisdina O’Neill is studying for her Masters in Education at University College Cork. Extremely proud of her Traveller identity, Chrisdina has dreamed of becoming a teacher for as long as she can remember, and her intense hard work and dedication is starting to pay off as we see her takes on her first teaching placement in Co Cork. Her passion for the profession is captured through emotional exchanges with her colleagues and advisors as she battles stereotypes and potential career-making decisions upon final exams and graduation – can she remain true to her Traveller and family origins AND do the job she loves?
See Chrisdina’s story begin in Episode 1 on the RTE Player
“Taking part in the documentary has meant a lot to me as it was initially a very daunting prospect but after considering it I then knew that it would be for the betterment of the Traveller community. Getting to share my experience of university was so important to break down the barriers and stigma around university within marginalized communities. ”
UCC Access & Disability Fast Facts
- 30 staff members work in Access and Disability services at UCC.
- In 2019 nearly 1000 first year students entered UCC via alternative access routes from under-represented groups.
- Over the last 4 years 897 HEAR students have registered at UCC and over 978 DARE students
- 33% of students registered with a specific learning difficulty and 18% with a mental health condition.
- Over the last 4 years 976 Mature students have registered at UCC and 867 from FET/QQI routes.
- A well known graduate who availed of the UCC disability service is Joanne O’Riordan, a prominent campaigner for disability rights.
- Initiatives that UCC are proud of include:
- Autism Friendly University
- DSS Mentoring & Employability Programme
- Access+ – Further Education Initiative for Cork City DEIS students
- UCC PLUS+ Homework Club for City DEIS schools – winner of Best Education Outreach Initiative – The Education Awards 2019.
- Moving of all access services to a new building in the centre of Campus – The Hub
- UCC PLUS+ Traveller Mentoring Programme
Head of Access & Participation UCC
“Access services enable students to enter through the gates of University and engage in all aspects of University life. This documentary will share inspiring stories of resilient, determined, talented students who have unlocked their potential as a result of accessing third level education. These stories will encourage and enthuse parent, teachers, and significant adults across the country to nurture the potential of our future students and encourage them to dream big!”