Kitchen assistant on road to her dream of becoming a hotel manager

A kitchen assistant has reached a landmark in her ambition to one day study at university and become a hotel manager – by getting two crucial qualifications.

Ugandan-born Aida Nakabugo, 56, from Woolwich, decided two years ago to take her GCSE maths and English exams – and has now bagged passes in both subjects by studying at London South East Colleges’ Greenwich Campus.

She will apply for university next year – but has also developed a love for the English language, comprehension and grammar as well as a new found confidence with all things numerical.

“It was almost like being set free,” said Aida, “I’ve wanted to take these subjects for so long and always felt held back without them.

“And if only I’d known just how good the courses at London South East Colleges were going to be, I’d have done them long ago.

“Being of an age when many people start to think of their retirement plans, I’m still wide awake and eager to achieve my dreams.

“I’ve wanted to use the many other top level skills I have in hospitality and catering, home economics and cooking fine foods, to move up the ladder a step or two and become a manager – I’m not going to let this pass me by.

“I’m so grateful to my tutors for explaining everything to me so clearly and also for bringing with it a real engagement and devotion to the subjects.

Too many people see these as some kind of hurdle you have to get over in life, but if you treat them as something more along the lines of an interest and affection, you eventually develop a need to amass lots of knowledge.

“With this, you mature into a better person and become wiser and more articulate. Not only that, you empower yourself as a person and open yourself up to learn even more.

“Thank you to my teachers – they have made me realise I’m not too old to learn after all. With their support and encouragement, their infectious zeal and the extra time they have put in outside of the lessons, I have overcome so much and feel ready for the next chapter of my life.”

Pictured top: Aida Nakabugo

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