James' story


A math's student with cerebral Palsy

James is a 20 year old Maths student who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, a physical disability acquired when be was born 11 weeks prematurely. As a child James aspired to be a gladiator - but, in his own words ‘quickly realised that it probably wasn’t going to work out’.

The transition from school to university was difficult in every way: ‘It was all the issues you had anticipated and all those you had not anticipated!’ Echoing recent Government research, James notes that finding friends at university was not easy and that having a disability does not necessarily give one anything in common with other disabled people.
Exhibiting all round determination however, James is working very hard to ensure that in spite of his disability (and the recession), he will find employment when he graduates. At the start of his second year James was searching his university Careers’ web site when he found a Shaw Trust bulletin promoting their partnership with Ernst & Young’s scheme whereby students with disabilities are encouraged to apply for summer internships.
'Through the Shaw Trust I’ve been made aware that there are companies out there which are not only conscious of my issues, but are understanding in a realistic way.’
At the time of writing James was half way through his internship, ‘it has been fantastic and has allowed me to grow as a person. I’m working in Audit and within that for Capital Markets and Banking - it has been amazing and an eye opener!’ Even better news is that James had just been offered a two weeks’ extension to his internship at Ernst & Young; we take this as a very positive sign and hope that he wins a place on their coveted graduate scheme.