Tigist was in year nine at secondary school when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the move to online learning really hurt her mental health.
“I ended up leaving school for two years but then I saw South West TAFE as my last chance to finish my secondary school education.
“I have really enjoyed it. There are fewer students so you have more attention from the teachers. It’s just like a big family here – I feel so supported by both the teachers and students,” she said.
Tigist said the VCE programs provided a very accepting environment and students were learning life skills, including personal development, resume writing and managing finances.
Her love of children has now led her to a school-based traineeship in Early Childhood Education and Care.
As part of her course, she spends one day a week studying Early Childhood Education and Care at SWTAFE, one day working at a local kindergarten and the rest of my time studying year 11.
Tigist said that while she was loving her course in early childhood education, her ultimate aim was to study marine biology at university.
“I feel like everything I’m learning here will help me on my way to reaching my goal,” she said.