Studying has always been a strong focus in my life. When I was pregnant with my two-year-old daughter Diana it just encouraged me to be more dedicated and persistent with my studies. When she was born it was difficult juggling university and being a mum but eventually I learnt that nap time was my study time and that an early bedtime for her meant at least three hours of study for me.
It was incredibly difficult balancing my time, however, my partner gave me much needed support on the weekends when he wasn’t working, which allowed me to keep up with the workload. Raising a family and studying has always been a balancing act, both physically and financially, but with the additional support, I have been able to do both, something I didn’t think possible.
I was eight-years-old when our family first encountered The Smith Family. We had just left everything behind to escape from domestic violence and relocated from a remote country town to Toowoomba. It was difficult starting again, having no friends or support other than my mum and two sisters.
Their sponsorship program allowed us to start a new life in a new school without my mum suffering with the financial burden of our education. It helped pay for school fees, uniforms, stationary supplies and educational excursions, which we wouldn’t have been able to afford. Having all the requirements for school made us feel like part of the community, allowing us to fit in with everyone else at school despite being the new students.
I’ve been with The Smith Family now for over ten 10 years, from primary school all the way into tertiary education. The program has encouraged me to pursue my dream of completing a law degree at university. Back in high school it was difficult imagining being a university student and I thought it was something I would never have the financial privilege of accessing.