Sometimes, finding the right course and the right support can be the ticket to changing your career, your mindset and your entire life.
Before she came to UEL Kayleigh was a musician and already involved in many community projects and events, such as the C2C bicycle fundraiser ride for the Girl Guides, but she felt that she could do more, and be more.
"I had a difficult childhood and came from a poor background, but that never stopped me from trying my best to escape my circumstances and grow into the person I am today. I chose to study at UEL to break out of my comfort zone and to be inspired by the big city of London.
I knew with the support at the University I could develop myself as a person and with it, my ideas. UEL offered excellent sport facilities, is based at the heart of the creative industries, and provided me with a safe space in which I could experiment and grow my dreams and ambitions."
Searching for an outlet for her creative calling that would provide variety and a host of new challenges, Kayleigh chose to study Game Design: "I can practice art, animation, coding, writing, design, and project implementation, and I was most excited about being able to create hands-on board games and card games, paper prototyping and the physical visualisation aspect of creating a project."
Gaining a scholarship at UEL gave Kayleigh the extra support she needed to realise her ambitions... but it's not just the financial support that made a difference.
As she recalls: "I applied for the scholarship at UEL because I felt that it would allow me to invest in the equipment I'd need, and also enable me to invest in myself as a person and attend creative workshops, without the impending financial stress and pressure of getting a job. I was able to fully use my time to immerse myself with people, ideas, events and workshops, and better my mental health to achieve my future goals.
It's incredibly daunting to apply for the scholarship, as I had a great doubt that any of my achievements would be worth such an award. To be enabled and rewarded for my positive attitude and enthusiasm towards all the little things in life was so refreshing and uplifting."
After completing her course, Kayleigh looks forward to moving onwards and upwards with a postgraduate degree, and becoming an author writing about motivational needs, a subject close to her heart: "How do we find it, where does it come from and how can we tap into it when we need it the most? Mental health has been such a rollercoaster ride and I have learnt that it is so for everybody; it only gets easier when you open yourself up to the world around you. I want to write, whether in games, books, films, or blogs, about how to find the best methods for you to get back on your path."
Sometimes it's not just the qualifications we pick up at university that help us on the road to new beginnings, but the self-belief we gain, and the understanding of who we really are.
What advice would Kayleigh give to someone thinking of applying?
"Don't belittle yourself, believe in your ideas and who you are. If you believe in them, others will too."