Student Stories

Shauna O’Connor

One Door, No Wrong Door

Shauna O’Connor is an inspirational young woman who embarked on a path through Further Education and Training and found her way to success through determination and alternative learning opportunities. While mainstream secondary education didn’t quite fit her needs, Shauna found her stride in Youthreach Listowel, a programme designed to holistically support young people. This programme equipped Shauna with the knowledge, skills, and most importantly, the confidence to progress to Kerry College.

Shauna’s journey began with the realisation that secondary school wasn’t the right fit for her. She struggled to engage with the curriculum and felt disconnected from the typical classroom environment. However, instead of giving up, Shauna made the bold decision to enrol in Youthreach Listowel, a decision that would change the course of her life. ‘In secondary school, I never considered progressing to further education but when I went to Youthreach, it opened a new path for me in helping me see that there are other options out there for things that you want to do in life.’

At Youthreach, Shauna found the support and resources she needed to thrive. With dedicated teachers and a tailored approach to learning, Shauna flourished, gaining confidence and discovering her passions along the way. Having earned a QQI Level 4 qualification at Youthreach, she enrolled in the QQI Level 5 Music Technology course at the Kerry College Clash Road Campus. This decision marked another milestone in Shauna’s educational journey, illustrating her commitment to pursuing her dreams.

After completing Music Technology, Shauna continued to push herself and explore new opportunities. This led her to embark on the Digital Journalism, Podcasting & Radio course at the Kerry College Monavalley Campus, where she could combine her love for music, technology and storytelling. ‘I’m really enjoying this course which is ran in partnership with Radio Kerry. Hopefully, you will all hear me on the radio soon!’

Shauna’s story serves as a powerful reminder that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to education. Her journey highlights how the Kerry Education and Training Board continues to promote the development of a lifelong and life-wide learning society in Kerry so that all persons have equal access to education and training opportunities.

For those who may not thrive in traditional academic settings, Further Education and Training opportunities offer a valuable pathway to success. Through perseverance and determination, Shauna has proven that with the right support and opportunities, anything is possible.

To find out more about Youthreach, please see or contact the Mentor Programme on 086 7966477.

To discover what Kerry College has to offer, call into one of our Admissions Offices, call us on (066) 7149696/(064) 6622593, or email us at [email protected].

Kerry College. Building Futures.