Meet our WAM graduate: Stevie
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a single mum with nine kids aged from 4 to 21. I feel like I’ve been a stay at home mum forever, although before having kids I lived up north and worked as an assistant.
What brought you to Solomon Group?
I really needed to step outside of my own mumma bubble, to be able to find somewhere for me besides being a mum. WAM turned out to be that place. Friends and cousins told me about the programme, so I came along and investigated for myself. The fact that it was free was a big drawcard! It has taken me two years instead of one to complete the course, and I’ve been through some ups and downs along the way, but I’ve done it now. Graduating from this programme has been a major highlight for me, in fact it is quite overwhelming.
What were some of the things you enjoyed most about studying WAM?
I enjoyed the course so much that I had course withdrawals if I couldn’t come to class for some reason. I also discovered a newfound appreciation for my kids – after course I’d really look forward to coming home to see them and took renewed joy in all their little milestones. It was really cool to have my children ask me how school was at the end of each day, and I love that I can now be on board with their studies and relate to what they are learning, instead of feeling that I’m being left behind. The kids and I all appreciate that.
The support of my tutors and classmates was amazing – everyone here is like a family, and I couldn’t have done it without their endless encouragement. I loved all the awesome excursions we went on such as Dress for Success, where we all got a work wardrobe for free. Our tutor even took us all bra shopping!
I’ve made lifelong friends here. When we first started, many of my classmates were really shy and quiet, but the course really drew them out of their shells. Seeing the growth and positive change in people was amazing. It was so good meeting other mums too. For me, my parenting tools were not working, and it was great to learn some new strategies from other parents.
What were the biggest challenges?
I’m not really a theory type of person so the writing part was a bit of a hurdle for me, but with support from my tutor and fellow students I was able to overcome that. I learnt to push through the tough bits and keep moving forward. Now I’m much more determined to go for what I want.
What are your plans now?
I’ve enrolled to study Forklift and Warehousing at Aspire2 Trades and once I successfully complete that I’ve got a job waiting for me at Foodstuffs. For me, doing this course has really helped me get my life on track. It’s a journey we are travelling on as a family - I’m not leaving my kids behind and they’re not leaving me behind.
It’s hard to step out of your comfort zone, but sometimes you need to do it to better yourself for your family. There are so many opportunities out there. No one needs to be left behind.