We love keeping in touch with our ex-pupils and seeing their progress. One such student that we want to focus on this month is Molly Barbour. Molly joined the GHS family in year 11 after a challenging time in her previous school. Despite the black hair and pale make up that Molly had adorned to hide herself because of the circumstances she had faced, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to her sense of humour, dry wit and infectious laugh. Molly made friends of all types quickly and soon threw herself into all aspects of school life. As this happened more and more of her personality shone through and she truly could be herself, which was an absolute delight! A budding actress and artist she particularly excelled in the creative arts and went on to study Performing Arts, Art and Design and Media Studies at A Level.
Molly was exceptionally bright and always had a fantastic work ethic, often staying behind after school for long hours of rehearsal or to finish a piece of art work. But behind this Molly silently struggled with severe scoliosis. This caused her to miss significant periods of time during her A Level studies and meant that when she was in school she was often in severe pain. However, her grit, determination, work ethic and will to succeed meant that she finished her studies with fantastic final grades (A,B,B). Her final examination piece for performing arts focused on the Holocaust. Molly played the role of ‘Irma Grese’, the ‘Beast of Belsen’, at the Courtyard Theatre. Her performance was chilling, unsettling, entirely convincing and fully deserving of the A grade she achieved. People certainly couldn’t have known how much pain Molly was experiencing throughout the show and how just the week before she had been unable to stand due to the severity of her condition.
Molly went on to further education at Liverpool Hope University; but life has not been plain sailing for our girl. Last year Molly discovered she has a spinal fracture, which has been compromised by her scoliosis meaning it can never heal correctly. The nerves at the base of her spine have also been permanently damaged by the scar tissue. With the risk of paralysis too high, surgery is not an option and Molly is faced with chronic nerve pain for life. This has meant that she has had to accept being wheelchair bound for periods when the pain is high, one of many adjustments she has had to learn to cope with.
True to form Molly has not let this stop her! She has recently started her own art business specialising in ‘fluid painting’ and one off commissions. While for many, these circumstances would be debilitating, Molly has realigned her focus and channelled her energy into something creative and positive. Again true to character she always finds time for others and I recently spotted an article written by Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary thanking Molly for art work she had commissioned and donated to them. I couldn’t help but feel so touched and proud of this girl who is going through so much personally, who is having to deal with a completely different life physically than she could ever imagine, putting that aside to reach out and help others. Molly we are so proud of you! A true Glengormley High School girl.
Molly’s Art shop on Etsy