Care-experienced Moray man (22) goes full circle as he prepares for job in care industry after graduating from UHI Moray
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A MORAY man who spent three years in a care unit after 'misbehaving' at school was one of the proudest UHI Moray graduates at Elgin Town Hall last Friday.
Jacob Lee Buchan (22), from Elgin, was at Lossiemouth High School for three years before being taken to a secure care unit in Montrose, where he stayed for almost three years.
On leaving care, Jacob decided to change paths and make up for some of his missed years of education – instead of falling into old habits.
He applied to study a Level 5 in Social Services, then progressed through Level 6 and proudly graduated with a HNC in front of his mother and father on Friday.
He has already found employment and, taking him full cycle, he is now working in the care industry himself for Cornerstone.
He said: "I did three years of high school and then I started misbehaving and ended up in a care unit. I missed out on my education.
"Coming to the end of my time in care, I thought 'I'm going to go down the same path and have the same pals'.
"But it took a wee second speaking to social work and it made me realise I don't want to do that and maybe I should look at college, knuckle down and be a normal lad in society.
"When I left care, I came back and went to college as I thought I needed to do something with my life.
"I was in care for just under three years at a secure unit in Montrose. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have come to college and would have been down a total other path.
"Care turned my life about and then being accepted into college consolidated that."
Jacob was handed a full-time role working for Cornerstone after impressing during a placement.
His time at UHI Moray has set him up for the world of work, he said, and a job in care has taken him full cycle in a matter of years.
He added: "I really enjoyed my time at UHI Moray. It was hard work and I took a while to learn how to manage my time, but the best part was the HNC and getting placement and getting hands on with everything we have learned.
"It's really helped everything click and really set me up career-wise. I've stayed on at Cornerstone, where I was on placement, and got a 30-hour contract.
"It's incredible, I'm enjoying it. Not two days are the same."
Jacob's graduation ceremony was watched by his proud parents. He added: "My mum and dad came down to watch. I've never seen them dressed up before so it was weird!
"I'm the only one in the family who has completed college so it's probably touched their hearts a bit."