Carron Riach had a great job in the UK financial industry, a long term relationship and close family and friends—until she lost it all. Bipolar disorder entered her life and the illness presented numerous obstacles and hardships causing long-term isolation and the inability to support herself.
Searching for a way to rebuild herself with limited economic means, Riach found Coursera and the option to apply for financial aid. She submitted an application, received support and has now gone on to complete over 40 courses in topics ranging from humanities to economics. “Coursera has allowed me the educational freedom to expand not just my intellectual boundaries but also build confidence in myself again as a member of society,” said Riach. “Discussion forums, peer reviewed assignments and shared group activities give me a sense of community and the opportunity to be an equally valued member in a place where the only requirement for membership is the desire to learn with and from each other.”
Carron is currently in her first Specialization, Challenges in Global Affairs and has a three ring binder filled with plastic sheets containing her Coursera credentials—some which are blank—as a constant reminder of a new future to come. Her life was defined by lack of options two years ago, but today she credits Coursera in giving her an opportunity with financial aid to help shape her aspirations with new skills, renew her faith and have a targeted focus towards a solid foundation for success.