North East People

Inspirational student shares her motivational story on International Women’s Day

Monique Wild
Photo from Teesside University

An inspiring woman, young mum and student from the North East who has experienced the trauma of abuse, addiction, and the death of a loved one will be motivating young women as she recounts her journey to success as part of International Women’s Day (IWD). With the theme ‘Choose To Challenge’ Monique Wild is a fitting speaker.

Monique Wild, 31, a final year BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Therapy student at Teesside University, will be among guest speakers sharing their stories during a special online event on Monday 8 March. A quick search revealed that Monique is not a stranger to speaking in public. She was interviewed on BBC Radio Tees ‘Breakfast’ and on the afternoon of 9 December 2020 where she talked about being a student in the time of Covid-19.

Originally from South Shields, the single mum has not let any of the struggles she faced during her younger years set her back.

Monique said: “The challenges for me started when I was very young and I witnessed domestic abuse and the devastating impact of drugs while I was growing up.”

When she was aged 13, Monique’s cousin was murdered and then just two years later, Monique left home at the age of 15 when she became a teenage mum.

She herself became a victim of domestic abuse for several years and, at the same time, was supporting a family member who was suffering mental health problems.

Monique said: “Through multiple developmental stages of my life, I have had to navigate friendships, relationships, parenthood, housework, a career, bills with financial instability and domestic abuse.”

After starting a few different career paths, Monique became a dental nurse at the age of 18, but the impact of a car accident led to a reduction in her working hours, which also impacted her finances. Monique returned to education and was promoted to senior dental nurse, then interim practice manager.

“That helped me to become financially stable, enabling me to start the dental hygiene and therapy degree at Teesside University when I was 28,” said Monique.

However, starting the degree brought fresh challenges, in relocating to Teesside with her child and moving away from established support networks.

Now a few years on, Monique remains philosophical, adding: “The only sure thing in life is change. Life happens, you must always be open to let the good in, heal from the bad and shine even in the darkest times.

“Life is full of people or events that you must navigate. Some things you cannot prepare for and some can have a negative impact on your wellness and be overwhelming at the time; but these are the events that you must overcome to become successful.”

Teesside University is among a number of regional organisations coming together to host a festival of online events designed to inspire and enthuse young women about their career prospects and future ambitions to mark IWD. This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge with the aim celebrating female accomplishments.

There will be pre-recorded sessions featuring IWD Ambassadors as well as live panel discussions, and a digital Wall of Fame will feature inspirational local women explaining what success means, the challenges they have faced and how they overcame them.

Find out more about International Women’s Day events here

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