I had a long successful career running my own business, but when the economy went into recession I decided to close the business. With an interest in painting going back to my school days, I enrolled on a painting course. When my wife told me she was joining the college I decided to follow her, using my portfolio of artwork to take a course in the Creative Arts department.
Joining the college was a daunting experience. I have dyslexia and had never learned to write. When I was at school there wasn’t a great understanding of the condition and coming back into education meant I had to confront many issues. I managed this thanks to fantastic support from college staff who provided a scribe to help me take notes in class. They also helped me to use a computer, voice recognition software and a Livescribe pen.
The college put me in touch with the Learning Shop in Ayr, where I attend adult learning classes to help me with my reading and writing. At my age I never thought that I would finally be able to read and write, but this is now possible thanks to the help and encouragement I received at Ayrshire College.
The last few years have been a total lifestyle change for me. I used to live to work, but I can honestly say this is the happiest I have ever been. Winning this award is quite overwhelming. It is my first ever academic achievement and I can’t quite believe it.
I would highly recommend coming to college. I really enjoyed it and I am now going to university to complete a degree in Visual Arts – something I never thought would be possible a few years ago.
Brent’s lecturer said “Brent has found new confidence and self-belief. His graded unit painting has been given a permanent home in the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. He has also been really supportive and encouraging to the younger students on his course.”