Lending a helping hand

Post: Lending a helping hand

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“Girls Academy was like a safe haven —  the staff would always support you, praise you and encourage you to be the best person you can.  This is where I built my confidence and self-esteem to be a strong independent person.”

Jade Matthews has shown just how far a little confidence and self-esteem can take you.

The Maryborough Girls Academy graduate initially wanted to be a teacher, so she started studying RATEP, the community-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teacher education program, during her final years at Maryborough Senior High School. 

While at school she worked part time at Discount Chemist Warehouse, which she thoroughly enjoyed because it gave her a lot of satisfaction helping and caring for people.

It was also the impetus for a career change — she wanted to work in a field where she could continue caring for others.

Jade is now studying a dual degree in nursing and psychology at Queensland University of Technology, in Brisbane.  She has adjusted well to the transition to online studies, brought about by COVID-19, and also works part time as an administration officer at the Correctional Centre in Brisbane.

Jade’s confidence, independence and determination have given her the ability to move away from home to become strong, independent and self-sufficient.

Girls Academy’s support helped Jade grow and become stronger but, most importantly, develop the confidence to believe in herself and follow her dreams.

It’s not surprising with such a great attitude and work ethic that Jade  was one of three Girls Academy graduates earlier this year to be awarded a 2020 AYDP Nestlé scholarship, which provides financial support for further education.

Gemma Gala, the program manager of Maryborough Girls Academy, said that it was hard to put it into words how proud everyone was of Jade. 

“Jade is the most beautiful girl, she was a perfect role model, an independent, high-achieving student who was always a pleasure to have in the Academy,” she said.

Congratulations on everything you have achieved so far Jade  — we know you are going to be make a huge difference in your community one day, just as you have made a huge difference to the girls who will follow in your footsteps.

There’s nothing like a great role model to inspire you to dream big and aim high.

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