Blackburn Sixth Form students were inspired to overcome obstacles that may prevent them from achieving their career aspirations, when guest speaker Richard McCann took centre stage.

More than 300 A-Level students gathered at the event at Blackburn College on Monday to hear a personal account of how Richard overcame many challenges in his life, and how he has turned around his fortunes by adopting a simple ‘iCan’ attitude.

Richard’s childhood was tragically turned upside down when his mother was murdered, and he was sent into care. He later went on to leave school with no qualifications, before being caught up with the wrong crowd and then spent a short time in Armley Prison, Leeds.

Richard spoke to more than 300 students about hard work, determination, motivation and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected students’ studies.

Richard said:

“As a parent of older children I know how tough it has been for young people during the past couple of years due to the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic.

“I can only hope that by sharing how I dealt with my challenges that they will recognise that they have the resources to overcome the challenges they face, and know that it is OK to ask for help if they need it, as I have had to a number of times during my life.

“It is obvious that from speaking to a number of students after the talk that the students could relate to some of the things that I spoke about.

“I came to Blackburn College many years ago, I really enjoyed coming back and seeing the developments that have taken place.”

A-Level student Katelyn Burgess said:

“I found Richard’s speech to be really heart-warming and motivational. It was interesting to hear how his mindset changed, and it made me realise anything is possible if you put your mind to it and have the right attitude, and that it’s never too late to change your life.”

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