Carol Floris graduated from Cardiff University in 1989 and is Advice and Support Manager at Voices From Care.
In 1986 I came to Cardiff University, not knowing anyone and pretty scared. I didn’t necessarily realise it at the time, but it was quite rare for someone who had spent their childhood living in children’s homes and foster care to come to university. Financially and emotionally at times things were a struggle. However in University Halls, where I stayed for my first year, I made some really good friends. Cardiff University seemed to attract a range of people, and it was one of the first times I felt I could just be me without people having to know about my background unless I wanted to tell them.
I wanted to come to Cardiff University because I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to study and in the first year was able to study 3 subjects – Sociology, Latin and History. I dropped History in the second year. Sociology was my real passion – learning all the different theories for why society is as it is and thinking about the world we live in.
I went on to stay in Cardiff as I love the city – it is friendly and bustling, as well as being conveniently placed for getting into the countryside or the beach. I am still exploring even now.
I went on to study for an M.Sc.Econ in Women’s Studies and again met many different people. This was a part time course and I worked with elderly and disabled people in their own homes at the same time.
Since then I have worked as an advocate and campaigner for children and young people in care, raising awareness of their rights and their potential. In my current role with Voices From Care I have worked with the Support Services at Cardiff University who are developing their support to care leavers to assist them in higher education.
I feel privileged to have been to Cardiff University and to still have a part to play in the education and opportunities they offer. I recently undertook a short course on Exploring Human Rights in the Department of Life Long Learning which I enjoyed immensely. I hope to undertake other courses in the future and hope Cardiff University has a further successful 125 years so that many other people are able to enjoy the benefits it has to offer.