Danielle defies odds and ‘snaps’ her way to success

Danielle Wainwright
Danielle Wainwright

An inspirational Valley student has defied medical experts by exceeding all expectations and achieving a First Class Honours degree, despite having high functioning autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Danielle Wainwright, has faced many obstacles in life and her parents were told that she would never achieve academically, go to college or ever be able to attend university.

The 21-year-old has, in fact, achieved all of those things and has graduated with a First Class Honours degree BA (Hons) Photography from the University Centre at Blackburn College.

Danielle, who lives in Mellor, initially attended Blackburn College to study a Level 3 extended diploma in photography and did so well that her tutors recommended her continuing to the degree programme.

“We are so incredibly proud of her,” commented her mother, Ann.

“Danielle struggled in primary school and any small change would bring on a panic attack.

“Her anxieties used to prevent her from joining any after-school clubs or activities and she rarely slept or felt comfortable in new situations.

“When Danielle was small, we bought her a camera and it soon became clear that she had a real passion for photography. This hobby led to Danielle gaining an A* in her GCSE Art and inspired her journey towards achieving BA (Hons) photography. The University Centre at Blackburn College offered Danielle so much support and flexibility.”

Tutor, Martyn Pearson, said: “Despite her challenges, Danielle has always been responsive to the support offered by all involved in her photography education.

“Danielle has achieved her degree through perseverance and sheer hard work and thoroughly deserves all the credit. Danielle is a highly-talented and creative young photographer who has a bright future ahead of her.”

Ann added: “What she has achieved is so far from what was predicted, I want other families on the autistic spectrum to realise that you mustn’t give up.”