Teanna Maguire, winner of the BTEC Child, Health and Social Care Learner of the Year award, is described by her subject leader at Sir John Deane’s College in Cheshire as “one of the strongest learners I have worked with in 20 years of teaching” and a “stunning learner who is admired by staff.” Highlighting her commitment in the classroom, her support for other learners, and her eagerness to get involved with work experience and midwifery opportunities, nominator Sarah-Jane Hair emphasises that Teanna’s achievements are even greater for being hard won.
After a childhood accident left her with a physical disability, Teanna has spent a lot of time in and out of hospital. Yet rather than let that get her down,she was inspired by her own medical experiences to go into the caring profession. Indeed, the experience she has gained through her work placements and training for the BTEC Level 3 in Health and Social Care (with a top-up subsidiary in Applied Science that the College suggested she take due to her evident talent and impressive work ethic) has opened up a pathway to her dream career, as she now embarks upon a midwifery degree at the University of Manchester.
The degree of Teanna’s determination and commitment is further illustrated in her willingness to travel to a college 17 miles from home in order to pursue her studies and by her drive in independently seeking out multiple work placements in a variety of settings.
Thanks to her course, Teanna has also been able to develop skills that have enabled her to work alongside her studies as a part-time domiciliary carer. Sarah-Jane says: “Teanna is an every-day role model in terms of her maturity, her willingness to help struggling learners, and her exemplary work ethic both in the classroom and on placement.”
Teanna is a shining example of a learner who goes above and beyond - not just doing the minimum to ‘pass’ the course, but investing as much time and energy in developing her skills and knowledge as she could. “I take my time with every piece of coursework, developing my learning through regular reading of journals and listening to podcasts with the latest health and social care news before applying this through examples in my work,” Teanna tells us. And among all that, she still finds time to help her peers: “I pride myself in helping others. I’ve offered support to multiple learners on the course including with their personal statements and university interviews.”
Though of course much of her success comes from her own effort and that of her teachers, Teanna says she’s grateful for the opportunities BTEC has given her and is extremely proud to be the first in her family to attend university.
“I am so thankful for the knowledge I have learnt throughout the course and work experience and believe if it wasn’t for the vocational aspect of the course and the confidence it has given me to pursue a career in health and social care despite my physical disability, I would not be where I am today.”
Teanna’s story is a great example of how BTEC and other vocational pathways aid social mobility, giving people from all backgrounds a first step onto the career ladder.