Festival of Learning – Congratulations Mica Coleman-Jones

Congratulations to former HKF bursary winner and current HKF trustee Mica Coleman-Jones on winning the Patrons’s Award at the Festival of Learning awards 2022 yesterday!

Here is Mica’s story:

Mica Coleman-Jones has been selected by HRH The Princess Royal to receive the Patron’s Award. Mica found her love of learning as an adult and is now sharing that passion with others by training to become a special educational needs teacher.

Mica had a difficult home life which, combined with undiagnosed autism, meant that her school and college experiences were far from positive. Following relationship breakdowns within her family, Mica found herself sleeping rough, with little money to pay for basic things.

Things began to change when with the support of her mother, Mica applied for and was awarded a scholarship from Helena Kennedy Foundation to go to university. With three autistic siblings, Mica was keen to work in special education and enrolled in additional courses in Special Educational Needs and is now enrolled in an MA in Educational Enquiry and Professional Learning. Mica have been able to progress into roles including assistant headteacher and Head of Autism Research and Development.

Mica aspires to one day open a school in memory of one of her sisters, Lilya, who was lost to Leukaemia at the age of 12.

Organised by Learning and Work Institute, and supported by the Department for Education, Festival of Learning is an annual campaign which aims both to celebrate the power of learning to transform lives, and to encourage more adults to take part.

Shahida Aslam, Director of Operations at Helena Kennedy Foundation, said: “It has been a joy to see how far Mica has come since her first bursary in teacher training. I’m so proud to see her thrive while continuing to push herself. She hasn’t stopped raising her own ambitions, and it’s wonderful to see her helping to raise those of people around her too.”

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said: “Mica returned to education as an adult after a difficult start in life and challenging time at school, but since her first course, she hasn’t slowed down. Mica’s passion for education doesn’t stop with her own learning and, through her own teaching and specialisation in SEN, she is already inspiring others. We are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal selected Mica as this year’s Patron’s Award winner.