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Inspirational student shares her motivational story

04 March 2021 @TeessideUni


A young mum and student who has experienced the trauma of abuse, addiction and the death of a loved one hopes to motivate young women from the region as she recounts her journey to success as part of International Women’s Day.

Monique Wild
Monique Wild

Monique Wild, 31, a final year BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Therapy student at Teesside University, will be among guest speakers sharing their stories during a special online event on Monday 8 March.

Originally from South Shields, the single mum has not let any of the struggles she faced during her younger years set her back.

Monique said: “The challenges for me started when I was very young and I witnessed domestic abuse and the devastating impact of drugs while I was growing up.”

When she was aged 13, Monique’s cousin was murdered and then just two years later, Monique left home at the age of 15 when she became a teenage mum.

She herself became a victim of domestic abuse for several years and, at the same time, was supporting a family member who was suffering mental health problems.

Monique said: “Through multiple developmental stages of my life, I have had to navigate friendships, relationships, parenthood, housework, a career, bills with financial instability and domestic abuse.”

After starting a few different career paths, Monique became a dental nurse at the age of 18, but the impact of a car accident led to a reduction in her working hours, which also impacted her finances. Undeterred, Monique returned to education to help her career prospects, which led to promotion as a senior dental nurse, then interim practice manager.

Life is full of people or events that you must navigate

Monique Wild

“That helped me to become financially stable, enabling me to start the dental hygiene and therapy degree at Teesside University when I was 28,” said Monique.

However, starting the degree brought fresh challenges, in relocating to Teesside with her child and moving away from established support networks.

Now a few years on, Monique remains philosophical, adding: “The only sure thing in life is change. Life happens, you must always be open to let the good in, heal from the bad and shine even in the darkest times.

“Life is full of people or events that you must navigate. Some things you cannot prepare for and some can have a negative impact on your wellness and be overwhelming at the time; but these are the events that you must overcome to become successful.”

Teesside University is among a number of regional organisations coming together to host a festival of online events designed to inspire and enthuse young women about their career prospects and future ambitions to mark IWD. This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge with the aim celebrating female accomplishments.

There will be pre-recorded sessions featuring IWD Ambassadors as well as live panel discussions, and a digital Wall of Fame will feature inspirational local women explaining what success means, the challenges they have faced and how they overcame them.