Deborah's Masters

Help Deborah get a qualification to teach the literature that she loves!

Deborah's Masters
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Completion Date: Fri 12 Feb 2021

A short summary of MY project

In September 2020, I started my English Literature Masters course at the University of Leeds, having been awarded the Leeds Masters Scholarship, which grants me £5000 towards the fees. I am studying part-time and am due to graduate in 2022. The total fees are £9000, with a 10% reduction due to my having graduated from Leeds with my BA. The Scholarship is a great help but the problem is that I need to pay £3,100 to make up the total payment of £8,100. I cannot receive any help with the remainder of the fees from Student Finance because it is currently capped - no loans for anyone over 60 years old ... and I am already a little over 60... I was originally offered the Masters place unconditionally last year - but I had to ask for a year's deferral so I could work and save up to pay the fees. Having studied for my PGCE at Leeds City College and being qualified to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages, I gained employment there as a teacher, thus managing to save some money. But then came the Coronavirus crisis... I've not been working since the lockdown in March, just attending online Masters lectures and existing in isolation with my 96 year old mother. She has now had an unsuccessful hip operation, causing her mobility to be drastically reduced, and also she has started suffering from rapidly progressing Macular Eye Degeneration so I have had to become her carer. This has meant that even when restrictions were lifted in Leeds I could not leave her to go back to work. I am my mother's only child and I have no other relatives in England so there is no one else with whom to share the responsibility of looking after my mother - or who might help me financially. I managed to pay the first installment of the fees for my Masters in September using what was left of my salary from City College and also borrowed money, which I have since paid back with the first installments of the Scholarship funds. However, I am required to pay another £2020 installment on February 12th and I am empty! According to the rules at Leeds University, my place cannot be deferred again. So it's now or never! If I'm going to continue with my Masters course after February, I desperately need financial help!…

Who am i?

My name is Deborah Carr-Al Kamaaty. My surname is a combination of my late Egyptian husband's name and my maiden name. My father ran a ship's chandlers business in Leeds and my mother was a secretary for the librarian at the University of Leeds. I believe it was due to my mother that I learnt to love books and I became an avid reader from an early age. When I was at school, I began to read Shakespeare and was chosen to play leading roles in school plays. This led on to my training to be an actor at Manchester School of Theatre and working in the theatre for several years until I married and had children. We lived in Egypt for many years so I began teaching private English lessons and then taking work in schools and language institutes. I found this so rewarding when my students began to show enthusiasm for the great classics of English literature to which I introduced them. I came back to England after my husband passed away and it is now my ambition to teach literature here and pass on my passion for reading to others. In order to be able to do this, I want to complete my Masters in English Literature. I am very grateful for the Scholarship funds but I cannot afford to pay the rest of the fees by myself!Give an intro about yourself and anyone else on your project team. It's good to be brief at this point – real fans can always ask to buy the full autobiography!

MY story

I’m one of the WASPIs (Women Against State Pension Inequality!) – just a couple of years over 60 but I cannot claim State Pension until I am 67 according to current legislation ... Can’t retire - even if I wanted to! As I have explained, what I do want to do is teach English Literature and I'm sure I can do this until I am much older than 67! Until the lockdown, I was attending classes given at home by a retired mathematics professor who is now in his 80's! - but I can't teach literature here in England without a suitable qualification. I believe I should still have a long career ahead of me as teacher which I realized was my true vocation when I was working as a teacher in Egypt. In many countries, one is considered sufficiently qualified to teach English if one is a native speaker - but not here in England! I taught in Egyptian schools, language institutes and also taught private English lessons from my home in Cairo. I could always continue giving private lessons here in England regardless of my age but only with the right qualifications. Since returning to live in the U.K., I have achieved a First Class Honours Degree in Professional Studies from the University of Leeds in 2018 and was presented with a prize for Academic Achievement after the graduation ceremony. However, my degree is multi-disciplinary - not specializing in English, which is the subject that I want to teach. To further qualify myself, I completed a teacher training course in 2019 and achieved a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (specializing in ESOL and Literacy) so I was able to I work part-time as a supply teacher at Leeds City College until the lockdown this year. As I have explained, at the moment, I cannot work because I am my 96 year old mother’s full time carer. She is in complete possession of all her mental faculties - as I hope to be at a similarly ripe old age! - but needs my help 24/7 since she became physically disabled. This means there’s no way I can manage to raise enough money to supplement the Scholarship funds for my Masters by myself - so any donation that anyone can make will help!

Where will the money go?

All the money that I am asking for will go towards the fees for the Part-Time 2 year English Literature Masters at the University of Leeds. I can support myself with the Carers' Allowance that I receive for looking after my mother. If I hit the target of £2025, this will pay the next installment of the fees for my Part-Time English Literature Masters which is due on 12th February. If there are any extra funds, I can save these towards next year's installments needed to supplement the Scholarship and I may also buy more books instead of just borrowing from the Brotherton Library at Leeds University. We are expected to purchase a great many books when studying for the English Literature Masters, so it would of course be very useful to have extra funds! But all I really need right now is the money to help with paying the fees!

REWARDS - THERE WILL BE SOME GREAT REWARDS to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. 

ALSO LOOK OUT FOR VIDEOS AND UPDATES These will be posted here later.Add your website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or other sites where you'll be giving (very regular) updates during your fundraising campaign. Remember to tell people to "Follow us to find out how we're doing!"

PLEASE HELP ME SUCCEED! I need as many people as possible to be talking about my project. Everywhere you can think of!

PLEASE HELP ME PROMOTE MY PROJECT!You don't need to give money to help me succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support me – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone or mention me in your blog.Please share my story with everyone you know who might be willing to help because the more people who know about it, the more likely I am to raise the money I need. And I know I said you don't need to give money to help me, but I'd love it if you did! 

Please help me complete my masters!