I Can Achieve – Gemma’s story

Gemma campaign poster – Large image of Gemma on the right hand side, wearing a suit jacket as she stands and smiles. The tagline beside her reads “I Can achieve’ and there is a quote from Gemma which says “Visual impairment does not stop me living my life, achieving my dreams or having a fulfilling career”.

For Gemma Morton, from Leek, near Stoke on Trent, working on the main reception of RNC means that she is at the heart of what happens here. Proud of her Staffordshire roots, she is the current face of the College’s national I Can campaign and demonstrates success comes through hard work and perseverance.

Her knowledge of life as a student, adult trainee, volunteer and staff member has given her a unique insight into the workings of RNC. “Despite being a little nervous for the photo shoot, I was pleased to be asked to be involved in the campaign and am happy to share what being at RNC has done for me,” she explained. “I have achieved so much and it is a place I am very proud to be a part of.”

As a former student, Gemma, now 33, has achieved her goal of having a fulfilling career, which includes supporting current students through work based learning opportunities.

In 2000, Gemma commenced her studies, having heard about the College through her local Disability Employment Advisor in Leek. “I never knew that a place like this existed, even though I had been diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa from birth!” Gemma said. “Coming to RNC is the best decision I’ve made in my life. I still have many of the friends I met here, and I have grown in confidence. In fact, it’s great to watch the current students’ confidence and self-esteem develop whilst they are at the College.”

Having a career was important to Gemma following completion of her A Levels, but like many people with a visual impairment, she found it difficult to get a job. She was a stay at home mum until her son was three and then returned to RNC to train for a NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service. Following this, she became a volunteer and member of the bank staff at RNC, before being employed as a Corporate Office Administrator in 2011.

“As I have experienced RNC all the way from being a student to becoming staff, I feel really proud to be a part of it,” said Gemma. “I’ve seen a lot of changes, but it’s still a place I adore and I absolutely love being part of the RNC family. I met my husband here and was supported whilst getting my Guide Dog, Ida, in 2014.”

Watch Gemma’s I Can Achieve video and find out why she loves her job here: https://www.rnc.ac.uk/ican/meet-gemma

Article written by Anika Backhouse, PR, Publications & Outreach Officer at RNC