Fabien was born in Congo, and lived in a refugee camp in Rwanda for 22 years. Always determined to get an education, he knew it was key to a better life. He walked ten hours to high school carrying enough food and water for his week of schooling. As the oldest of nine siblings, he was not only motivated to improve his own life, he was driven to financially support his entire family. He persevered with this round trip for several years, eventually graduating from high school.
When Fabien arrived in Cairns earlier this year, he felt ‘exuberant and surprised – but also frightened to communicate with Australians’.
Fabien connected with STEPS through a multicultural services officer, and commenced the Certificate III in Individual Support. STEPS provides specialist language and literacy support. This was a perfect fit for Fabien because he wants to care for people.
Fabien has found a real sense of community in the course. ‘We are all developing our English skills and learning how to be a great carer. We help each other’.
Since joining STEPS Skills for Education and Employment program, Fabien’s English language skills have gone from strength to strength, his confidence has grown immensely and he loves interacting with his peers from various cultures and nationalities.
Fabien is outstanding in every way – he is determined, always early for class, applies himself wholeheartedly and beyond all this, he is eternally grateful for the study and work opportunities available to him in Australia.
Fabien is nearing the completion of our Certificate III in Individual Support course, specialising in Disability. He is really looking forward to completing his work placement hours ‘with a real employer’.
Intensive language and literacy support combined with Fabien’s drive has given him a new found confidence in his own abilities. The power of learning allowed him to overcome his fear of speaking with Australians, and now enjoys making connections with everyone he meets.
Fabien volunteers at Centacare Migrant Services each week, helping young migrants settle into life in Cairns. He knows all too well the challenges faced and always brings a cheerful presence.
Fabien’s family are all extremely proud of his accomplishments. He is the only member of his family to complete high school. Being a role model for his younger siblings is a source of motivation for Fabien – he speaks of feeling a sense of pride through what he has achieved at STEPS so far, this is of great importance for his future and the future of his entire family.
Observing his own progression in our course has helped Fabien recognise that a career in nursing, his dream goal, is definitely well within his reach.
Fabien ultimately dreams of one day becoming a nurse. Against the odds Fabien has already accomplished a lot, however is still well aware that the reading and essay writing expectations of a university level degree are extremely demanding.
Before his nursing dream can be fully realised, his next steps will need to focus on higher level language and literacy tuition and stronger technology skills. An opportunity to upskill in these areas will give him the confidence and technical skills to thrive within a challenging university environment.
Fabien is a true inspiration. It is fair to say that challenges will lay ahead for Fabien, however his determination and genuine love of learning will serve him well.
A scholarship would acknowledge his successes, providing further motivation for Fabien and his siblings. Cairns SEE students are extremely close and supportive, therefore inspiration will extend to his peers from various backgrounds.
Fabien’s nursing dream is certainly within reach and we look forward to the bright future ahead of him.