A woman from Islandmagee was looking forward to her Open University graduation in April 2001.
Irene Todd was on e of an increasing number of people from Northern Ireland who had completed a degree course through the Open University.
It had taken her almost six years to complete her honours course in Applied Social Science.
“At the beginning I was full of enthusiasm, but as time went on I found it harder to motivate myself. I was often up until after 2am finishing essays.
“To be honest, there were times when I think I might have thrown in the towel had it been for the amount of money involved and the fact that my work was sponsoring me,” she said.
Mrs Todd had lived in Islandmagee with her husband for 10 years and worked full time in the Social Security Office in Carrickfergus as a supervisor.
She added: “I received a lot of support and encouragement from my husband, friends and colleagues and it definitely made a difference. It was something that I had always wanted to do and I wanted to prove to myself that I could.”