Supported education programs aim to facilitate the successful return to higher education for people living with mental illness who may have experienced educational interruptions due to their illness. This article shares the story of Ben who lives with mental illness and his experience of participating in an Australian supported education course. The two authors draw on a qualitative life history approach as they reflected on Ben's experiences of mental illness, educational disruption and returning to education and employment. The losses associated with educational disruption and the positive and empowering experience of becoming a student again are described as positively impacting recovery. Ben's story is shared in anticipation that other people living with mental illness, their family and carers, or workers supporting those people, may draw from his determination and success, in their own journeys of recovery.