Reginald David Johnston, MSc Addiction Psychology & Counselling, scholarship recipient
After a four-year apprenticeship, he became an electrician at the age of 19 and worked in the trade for almost a decade. Then, aged 28, he joined the Metropolitan Police Service, where he has worked as a uniformed officer as well as spells in CID, the Missing Persons Unit, Professional Standards, Civil Actions, Counter Terrorism and the Mounted Branch.
"You could say I've already had two careers," says Reginald as he looks back fondly on his past. "But I always had a feeling that my education was incomplete, so in 2002 I enrolled at LSBU as a part-time undergraduate."
This was some undertaking for Reginald, who studied whilst working full-time and with two young children. "I'm incredibly proud that I graduated from my LLB (Hons) Law with a 2:1, " he says. "I think part of the reason for that is because I had felt for a long time that such undertakings were 'only for other people' so it was a wonderful feeling to be able to demonstrate to my children that education can be a lifelong fun adventure."
After the success of his undergraduate study, it was only a matter of time before Reginald started considering study at Masters level. "I was keen to consider studying, and started looking for a course in addiction counselling," he says. "After scouring the web, I couldn't find anything that fitted the bill for me, and it was only then that I thought to see what LSBU had to offer in the field. I was delighted to find the exact course I was looking for on the university website."
Competitive on price
For Reginald, LSBU was the ideal place to continue his studies. "I knew the quality of the teaching staff and facilities, and the location was ideal as well," he says. "I spoke to some people who were already studying the course I wanted to do, MSc Addiction Psychology & Counselling, and they were very positive about it too. The fact that LSBU was competitive on price without compromising on quality or reputation was also a very important factor."
Despite the competitive pricing, Reginald was still keen to explore other funding avenues, and discovered that LSBU graduates with a 2:1 undergraduate degree or higher can apply for a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship. For LSBU alumni, this takes the form of a £1,000 bursary to help with the costs of study.
"The application process for the scholarship was easy and straightforward," says Reginald, "and I was absolutely elated to discover I had been granted an alumni scholarship. I felt valued, enthused and vindicated in my choice of university, the course I am studying, and my belief that what I had accomplished pre- and post-graduation was recognised as meaningful and worthwhile."
Reginald feels that emotional impact of his scholarship success has been just as important as the financial help it has given him. "Knowing that part of my fees is being met by the scholarship certainly takes away some of the financial pressure," he says, "but it has also reassured me that I am a worthy recipient of the scholarship. It inspires me to make the most of the opportunities that LSBU can offer me, and makes me determined to achieve the best grades possible."
It's an enthusiasm that Reginald aims to carry forward into what he refers to as his 'third career'. "I want to be an excellent Addiction Counsellor," he says. "I want to use my own life experiences and my continued personal growth to help others make positive changes in their lives. Can there be a better contribution to society than to help people to move from addiction – with all that entails – to becoming happier members of society?"