Kezia Dixon, 24, from Hackney has become the third generation in her family to graduate from Liverpool John Moores University.
Kezia attended her graduation, with her dad and grandma, at Liverpool Cathedral this week as she received her Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), making her the third generation of her family to graduate from the university.
Dad, Gareth Dixon, graduated in 1994 with a BA in Business Studies and also makes up part of LJMU’s 200-year history, as he was the first President of JMSU in 1992, (formerly known as the Liverpool Students’ Union,) when Liverpool Polytechnic gained university status and became LJMU as we know it today.
Like grandmother, like granddaughter
A love of education runs in the family as grandma Annice also received her teaching certificate (with PE specialism) in 1964 from what was then the IM Marsh College of Physical Education.
The family's journey through the generations has seen them move from Wavertree to Devon, and Saudia Arabia to London, but when it came to deciding where to go to university, Kezia, who is born and raised in Hackney, said it was a no brainer.
“When I was 16 and looking around universities, I only visited two places. Liverpool has always been a home away from home for me and my brother.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, the people of Liverpool will welcome you with open arms (and usually a pint or a brew)! So, moving here for university never once felt scary.”
My parents and grandparents both met in Liverpool
The family’s connection to Liverpool runs deep as both Kezia’s parents and grandparents met whilst studying in the city.
“The stories of Liverpool have surrounded my entire upbringing. Not only did my parents and grandparents meet (while at a Beatles concert) and fall in love here, but my dad was also SU President, so always had many a fun tale to tell of his time at LJMU.
“He actually took me to the old SU bar (then called The Hague) by the Aldham Robarts Library, sharing stories of student change and community projects. This part of the university was under construction when we visited, but as chance would have it, I got to call him and exclaim it would be the new Education Building, where I would be starting my PGDE that Autumn. It became another generational full circle moment, of which we’ve had many!”
Following the completion of her PGDE, Kezia is now working as a primary school teacher in London and feels her time at LJMU and in Liverpool has set her up for a bright future.
“The city is such a melting pot of people that you’re given this ability to talk to anyone about anything and find endless possibilities for career and life choices.
“For anyone doing teacher training at LJMU, it’s hard work but the School of Education is renowned. My advice is always ask for help from tutors, peers and lecturers because they get it like no one else does. Becoming a future educator is so rewarding and there’s an incredible support network curated for you at LJMU, so utilise it.”
Proud dad, Gareth, and grandma, Annice, said: "When Kezia said she wanted to study at LJMU we were so excited for her to have all the experiences and opportunities that we’d had as students.
“As we watch her graduate today, we couldn’t be prouder.”
Years in Liverpool were priceless and special
As Kezia graduated, she had one final message to current students at LJMU.
“I would say find your thing. Liverpool has so much to offer that you hardly even have to look. There’s something for everyone; a melting pot of academics, creatives, and sports people.
“Most of all, never take a moment for granted because you don’t realise you’re in the good old days until you’re not in them anymore. My years at Liverpool were priceless and special and I will forever treasure them.”