The Changemakers: Deborah Somorin on dream jobs and being a single mother at 14

In this month's issue of IMAGE magazine, Orla Neligan talked to the Irish women who are making a big impact in their respective field.

Deborah Somorin

Accountant at PwC and activist

When Deborah Somorin sat down for her interview with accountancy firm PwC, she was asked if she was nervous. “Just very excited to be interviewing for my dream job,” she quipped.

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Ever since she was a child, Deborah loved numbers and budgets. Even as a homeless 13-year-old and a pregnant 14-year-old, she kept that “dream job” in her vision. Now a senior associate at PwC, she has recently set up the Empower the Family project, a charity that will open quality accommodation with affordable childcare for lone parents between 18 and 23 in third level education.

Personal or professional motto?

“I love that quote from Oscar Wilde: ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

“I see myself representing a change in how youth homelessness is perceived. My experience as a homeless single mother has given me the insight needed to be a vehicle for change in poverty rates of single-parent families in Ireland by removing barriers to education.” Deborah’s son Liam is living proof of this; her qualification means he will never go hungry or know what it’s like to worry about not having a home.

If you had three more hours in your day, how would you spend them?

“Playing games with my son Liam. He’s my best friend and favourite person in the world.”

She knows the journey is a “marathon not a sprint”, but believes we can break the poverty cycle for generations to come. “It would be great to see more people from disadvantaged areas in government. Greater diversity of educational background will lead to better politics in this country. But, as individuals, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of our voices, and aim beyond what we think we’re capable of.”

If ever you need reminding that hard graft pays off...

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Pick up this month's edition of IMAGE magazine to see the article in full.

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