NRC student Lauren is top of the class!

Jane Witherspoon


Jane Witherspoon

A young Ballymena mum who struggled at school was one of the ‘Highest Achieving Students’ to be recognised at Northern Regional College’s student awards ceremonies this week.

Lauren Kernohan (25) from Ballymena not only successfully completed Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery at the College in Ballymena but finished top of her class. Lauren, who has two children aged 3 and 8, has just taken up a new position as cook in a Galgorm nursing home.

A past pupil of Ballee High School, Lauren admits that it took her a while to realise what she wanted to do after leaving school.

When she signed up for the Professional Cookery course at Northern Regional College, it was a case of third time lucky.

Lauren said: “I did both Level 1 Childcare Diploma and then Level 2 Diploma in Business and Retail Administration at the College but they weren’t for me.

“When I finished the second course, I got a temporary job working in a school kitchen and that was when I knew what I wanted to do.”

She admits that the job as a cook really whetted her appetite for working in a kitchen and she hasn’t looked back.

“I loved the Professional Cookery course and I’m already missing College! The emphasis was on practical skills rather than written work and this really suited me. I enjoyed every minute of it.”

Lauren’s proud parents, Marbeth and Brian were there to see her collect her award.

Marbeth said: “Lauren deserves great credit and we’re so pleased for her.

“She struggled with her work at school and we now realise that this was as a result of her dyslexia.

“All her hard work has paid off and we’re delighted for her.”

Northern Regional College offers a range of Professional Cookery courses at its campuses in Ballymena and Ballymoney. For further information, go to

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