A student whose stammer was so severe he could not read bedtime stories to his daughter is on his way to enjoying a fulfilling professional and family life.
Bryon Ford, 25, from Colwyn Bay could barely finish a sentence before enrolling on a speech therapy course five years ago, but he is now able to communicate freely.
The former Eirias High School pupil student was unable to order a takeaway or tell people where he lived but is now taking a youth and community course at Wrexham Glyndwr University and is on the first part of his journey to “give back”.
Bryon said: “I had done some volunteering with disabled children and community groups and liked the look of this degree, but I had never been a particularly academic person because of my speech problems.
“I would not speak to anyone. I was bullied and had no real friends. The only person I could talk to was one of the teachers or my brother and sister because I was too terrified to open my mouth.”
After becoming a father, Bryon was devastated he couldn’t speak with his daughter and decided to pursue a place on 'The McGuire Programme'.
An intense week of coaching and workshops ended in him standing in front of more than 100 people in Cardiff city centre, where he gave a speech about the challenges he had overcome.
“I had to do something, I couldn’t even read a bedtime story to my little girl, Katelyn.”
Bryon added: “When The McGuire Programme accepted me I knew it was the time to make that change in my life, and I’m so glad I did. I would not have been able to do it otherwise.
” I would still be wallowing in self-pity at home.”
Programme leader Jess Achilleos says the course attracts people of all ages who are looking to enter different sectors.
“We encourage our students to share their learning journey with the rest of the cohort, and Byron has been on an amazing journey,” said Jess.
“I wish him [Bryon] well with the rest of his studies and know he will go on to achieve whatever he wants to achieve. He’s an inspiration.”