Luton, United Kingdom (PressExposure) December 30, 2008 -- Christmas came early for Marie Theodorides of Jubilee Walk, Watford, when she received a phone call from her home study provider, SkillsTrain, to say she'd won Â£500 cash in a national competition to find the student whose life has most improved this Christmas.
33 year old Marie is studying web design with SkillsTrain, the UK's leading supplier of distance learning IT courses, a challenge which she manages to combine with family life and a busy career.
Marie, who described herself in her winning entry as an "unskilled foreigner with no network of friends, colleagues or mentors" said she has improved her prospects so much with her web design studies that she's already secured a promotion and has just been given a salary increase and bonus.
Hearing of her Christmas cash win she said "This news has really made my Christmas. It's not been easy, in fact it's been 12 months of blood, sweat and tears, but now it's all worthwhile and I can't thank SkillsTrain enough".
She is planning to treat her three kids with the win, and to splash out on something for herself too.
A spokesperson for SkillsTrain said "This was a very well deserved win by Marie who demonstrated out of the thousands of entries we received that she was determined to succeed in a competitive industry, despite the challenges of being a mother and wife. Our sincere congratulations go to her and we wish Marie continued success with her career".
Marie Thodorides entry to the SkillsTrain Christmas 2009 competition read as follows:- "It is easy to be cynical about success stories and write them off as cock-and-bull stories that give false hope to an audience starved of excitement. Although there may be some truth to this idea, to believe it would very unfair. I am writing to you today to tell you about my story which started out as a romantic dream but ended in me fulfilling my goal through a divine twist of a fate and not a lifetime of hard labour.
I came to the United Kingdom with the distinct disadvantage of being an unskilled foreigner with no network of friends, colleagues or mentors. I came across the SkillsTrain training programme by pure accident and if not for my husband's intervention I would not even have enrolled.
Three kids, many tears and buckets of sweat later and after some fantastic encouragement, late nights and unconscious effort, things have finally paid off. I am on my final section of the CIW certification, soon to write my exams and I have just received the best news. Thanks to my studies I have already received a much needed promotion which has allowed me to be involved in web development tasks within my company. This has allowed me to take an active part in updating web pages for our intranet using varying technologies with my new found skills. This Christmas, I am getting a fantastic increase and bonus as well. I am so excited and could not be more thrilled.
When anybody is working towards a target, whether it's losing weight or training for a marathon or studying towards a qualification, it helps to focus on the ultimate goal. It is easy to lose sight of your dream and veer off the road you're travelling on. I sincerely hope that my success story works its magic in an inspiring way, encouraging others to persevere and never give up. Remember; it will ultimately be worth it in the end!"