An Arbroath man who left school with no qualifications at all will be celebrating this week, when he becomes the first person in his family to graduate from university.
Stefan McInroy will receive an honours degree in Criminology from Abertay University on Thursday, marking the end of years of hard work.
The 28-year-old said: “When I left school at the age of 16 I dropped in and out of employment roles. I did a bit of everything, working in shops, working on building sites.
“Then in 2011 I had my daughter, and that changed everything for me. I wanted to be a role model and decided to return to full-time education.
"I had my mind set on studying Criminology and nothing was going to stop me from doing that." - Stefan McInroy
A lack of qualifications meant that Stefan effectively had to start from scratch, studying foundation courses before moving on to an HNC, and, eventually, Abertay University.
He said his ambition drove him: “From day one at college I knew what I was aiming to do. I had my mind set on studying Criminology and nothing was going to stop me from doing that.
“That’s not to say it wasn’t hard. When I finally arrived at university it was daunting. There were times when I thought that I couldn’t do it, and would have to drop out.
“Thankfully the staff were brilliant and they supported me throughout. The whole experience was excellent.”
Stefan has now applied to study a Masters in Social Work and is aiming, in the long term, to work with offenders in the criminal justice system.
He added: “My family have been really supportive and interested in what I’m doing. My daughter is understandably at an age where she’s all about her mum, but one day I’m hoping she’ll look back at what I’ve done and think that her dad was able to do this, so why can’t she?”
For more information about studying Criminology at Abertay, visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/course-search/undergraduate/criminology/