"It was a day that we, as a family, will always remember."

Having one family member graduating is undoubtedly a proud moment for anyone. But having two graduating in the one night makes it extra-special. Especially when those two are mother and son.

Janice and Blair Gilmour have travelled very different paths in recent years, with both paths leading them to West College Scotland’s Clydebank graduation ceremony. Janice, a graduate of HNC Childhood Practice, and Blair, a graduate of HND Computing and Networking, could never have dreamed that their big day would be proudly shared with one another.

Blair, aged 19, left school after 5th year and was accepted on to a Higher Apprenticeship with BAE Systems. As part of this apprenticeship, Blair began studying full-time at West College Scotland to gain his HNC.

Janice took a different approach, only beginning her studies when her sons had grown up and she had the time to focus on a career change. Taking up an administration post in a nursery gave Janice more job satisfaction than her previous role in the Civil Service, but she discovered that she enjoyed the interaction with the children more than her office work. It was at this point that Janice decided to return to education and pursue a career in childcare.

"I could not be more proud of my mum, as she worked in a job she did not enjoy for 29 years, waiting until my brother and I were secure in jobs before she followed her dream of working with children."

These sentiments are echoed by Janice, as she says:

"I enjoyed sharing the special event with Blair and couldn’t have been more proud of his amazing achievement."

It is clear that this family has a lot of support from each other. But it wasn’t just supporting each other on the day of graduation – Janice and Blair were able to lean on each other while studying their respective courses, and even help each other out at times. Blair was able to share his IT knowledge with Janice, and Janice was a complete inspiration to Blair, showing him how chasing your dreams can change your life for the better.

Both mother and son have nothing but praise for West College Scotland, and are grateful for the opportunities it has provided. With Blair about to finish his apprenticeship and Janice now working as a qualified childminder, it is evident that the Gilmour family values of hard work, determination and support have really paid off for both Blair and Janice. We wish both the best of luck and are proud to have been a part of their journey.

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