Young Cloncurry woman, Storm Petersen is a poster child for perseverance.
A few years ago the 17-year-old faced some personal setbacks and she was unable to return to high school after Year 10.
“I had a disadvantaged childhood, I didn’t have a lot of possibilities coming my way,” Miss Petersen said.
That changed when Miss Peterson enrolled at the TAFE Queensland Cloncurry campus to study a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways.
“I decided to put myself out there,” Miss Petersen said.
“I enrolled in this course because I wanted to make sure that when I had an opportunity for employment, I also had the confidence to really know that I can be a good employee and have the skills and knowledge to back me up.
“I now make sure that I take the possibilities that come my way, because I may need that qualification and knowledge to get me to a certain place later in life - I like to think ahead,” she said.
Miss Petersen recently completed her course and she credits the program for putting her on a pathway to employment.
“At high school I had trouble with mathematics and literacy and they were key components of my TAFE Queensland course,” Miss Petersen said.
“With the help of my teacher, who I can only describe as a beautiful angel, I grew more confident and increased my skills.
“I now have a job at the Hav U Bean Café and my course has definitely helped me to talk to customers and interact with everyone, how to problem solve and be a team leader,” she said.
Miss Petersen said she is keen to hit the books again in the near future.
“One day I hope to work in the community services areas because I’ve always had a passion for looking after people and putting their needs first,” Miss Petersen said.
Furthering her education empowered Miss Petersen and she hopes others learn from her experience.
“I live in a small town and people here can be quite shy, so I’d just say to them don’t be shy and don’t think that you can’t improve your education,” Miss Petersen said.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it’s the only way you’re going to learn about things,” she said.
TAFE Queensland Director of Education and Training, Ian Smythe hopes other people gain inspiration from Miss Petersen’s study journey.
“There’s no doubt that returning to study can be unnerving for some people, but Storm is living proof that hard work really does pay off,” Mr Smythe said.
“TAFE Queensland offers students a lot of study support and we’re passionate about providing our students with the skills and practical experience they need to be job-ready.
“TAFE Queensland also has a scholarship program and a number of funded training opportunities available to eligible students to help them complete their studies,” he said.