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Double celebration as mother overcomes odds to graduate from University of Hull


When her daughter Elena was just eight months old, Adelle Mogg, 24, embarked on a journey she never thought was possible. 

After losing her parents at a young age, forcing her to quit her studies to find a job, Adelle then found out she was pregnant.

Knowing she wanted something which would benefit her daughter’s future development, she enrolled on a teaching course at the University of Hull.

This week, she will graduate with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Primary Teaching Studies – just weeks after her daughter, 4, graduated from Little Einsteins Nursery on the University campus.

She said: “My mum and dad passed away when I was 16 so to support myself I needed to get a job pretty quickly. I dropped out of college and started working with children at nurseries in the private sector and studied for my childcare certifications. 

“Just as I passed my level three, I found out I was pregnant with Elena. Once she was born, I realised I didn’t want to return to full-time work, as twelve hour days are not suitable when you have a new born, but I also didn’t want to be at home doing nothing. So I took some time to really think about what would be best to help Elena. 

“I knew I loved working with children, and what I had learnt working in early years had really helped Elena so I thought, what can I do next to help her? I started looking for courses and eventually found the clearing helpline on the University website. I called them, and they suggested doing a foundation year to help me getting onto the course. I started the university in September 2015 when Elena was 18 months old.”


“The University has been really fantastic. If I had to leave early to catch a bus or to pick Elena up, my lecturers were incredibly understanding."

Adelle Mogg, 24


Adelle says starting University with a young child was daunting, but the University, and her lecturers, were incredibly supportive.

She said: “The University has been really fantastic. I don’t drive so I took two busses to get to lectures every day. If I had to leave early to catch a bus or to pick Elena up, my lecturers were really accommodating. They were incredibly understanding.

“In the early days, Elena either stayed with friends or she came to classes with me. Just before she was three, and just before my second year teaching placement, Elena started Little Einsteins, a nursery on the campus. It was perfect because my placement was at St Nicholas Primary School just round the corner.

“It was a relief to know she was on the same campus just in case. I don’t drive so it would have taken me ages to get back to Bransholme but knowing she was just across the way gave me peace of mind. I had no idea she was entitled to free childcare but she got 30 free hours a week, this helped so much.”

During her time at University, Adelle faced a series of challenges, including bereavements and a dyslexia diagnosis. 

She said: “It was the University who discovered I had dyslexia, which made a lot of sense as I struggled at school, and the Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) team have really helped me understand the condition, especially when writing academically. I suffered quite a few bereavements whilst I was studying, about eight in total, again all staff especially the student support team in the faculty hub were really supportive. Everyone I lost along the way have been acknowledged in my dissertation.”

Reflecting on her time at the University of Hull, Adelle says the level of support she received has allowed her to achieve something she never thought would be possible.

She said: “My personal growth has been a particular highlight for me, four years ago I was not academic. I struggled with writing, but with the support received from the university, I’m graduating with a 2:1, which is something I never expected. I remember getting a first in one of my assignments, I was so shocked I actually emailed the University and asked if they had got my grades wrong. “Looking back I had so much self-doubt but my mentors and visitation supervisor supported me amazingly. If I didn’t received this level of support, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. 

“In terms of the future, I’ve recently began working at Cleeve Primary School as a Child Supervisory Support Officer this is perfect for Elena’s schedule but what I’d really like to do is work is Special Educational Needs (SEN) especially autism, as I find those children really inspiring especially when they achieve something. It takes patience and passion when working with SEN children, this is something I have. This is what I focused on in my dissertation.”

Adelle says leaving the campus will be tough on them both, having both grown up there.

She said: “Our graduations mark a new chapter for us both. I’m going to work and she’s going to school. I cried at her graduation, I didn’t want her to grow up! I also didn’t want her to leave as she had made so many friends and memories; four years is a long time. We’ve both grown up on that campus. It’s hard to say goodbye, although I don’t miss the assignments.”


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