Taliban captive wife hopes to inspire students

A woman who got a degree while her husband was a captive of the Taliban has been selected as part of a campaign to inspire other people to attend university.

Kelly Cornwell graduated from the University of Cumbria last year with a degree in mental health nursing while her husband Kevin was detained in Afghanistan.

Mrs Cornwell, who was the first in her family to go to university, said her studies gave her the tools she needed to fight for her husband, who was released in October after nine months.

She has been chosen to be part of the 100 Faces campaign which a spokesman said “celebrates the achievements of students were the first in their family to go to university”.

Man and woman sat down
Kevin Cornwell was released in time to attend his wife’s graduation

Mr Cornwell, originally from Middlesbrough, had been working for the UN Refugee Agency when he was detained by the Taliban.

He said that alongside her full time study, his wife was researching international law and human rights to help fight for his release.

Mrs Cornwell was awarded most inspirational student upon her graduation.

She said that people recommended that she defer her final year of study, but having something to focus on through the situation gave her the “strength” to get through it.

Mrs Cornwell, from Fleetwood in Lancashire, said being selected for the campaign was “overwhelming”.

She said she initially decided to go to university about 30 years ago, but had a few set backs before making it there.

She said her family were “over the moon”, and that she wants to set an example for her children and relatives.

Mrs Cornwell said she “loves” working life and feels that she “earned it”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *