Elsa was referred to Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Program to improve her language, literacy and numeracy skills and get her job ready by the time her youngest child starts school.
Elsa came to Australia in 2004, sponsored by her older sister, being the only family member left in Ethiopia. She finished Year 7 in Ethiopia and since then she had no educational experience until she joined WCIG’s SEE program in April 2021. She is a single mother of 3 children, age 10, 8 and 3. After she got married, she committed fully to her children and for 10 years she stayed at home. This contributed to her insecurity, low self- esteem and lack of confidence.
After 6 months of doing Certificate II in EAL, in SEE program, Elsa started enquiring about her further educational pathways and possible employment and started conversation with the English teacher, program coordinator and RTO manager at WCIG.
As the SEE program was the first course she had completed, since coming to Australia, she was not sure about her next steps. The teacher discussed potential options, as well as the program coordinator and the RTO manager who provide students with potential internal and external pathways, as Elsa was scared and didn’t believe in herself.
“Before I was scared and looking for excuses to stay inside. For 10 years I stayed home and did nothing and this was my first course. I am confident now and I am not scared any more, even if I try and make mistakes. Keep going no matter what.”
In discussion on what would be the best pathway, Elsa indicated she likes helping people and was referred to WCIG’s Certificate III in Individual Support Course. She enrolled in Certificate III in Individual Support in November 2021 while continuing with her SEE program. At the same time the trainer also explored with Elsa potential job opportunities in the local area, so that she can still support her children and have a job, as she needed to be able to drop off and pick up her children from school and childcare centre.
Elsa gained employment with the NDIS service provider and started working on 23rd of February 2022 while still maintaining her studying. She is looking after one client who is in a wheelchair. She works with him from 9.30 to 3pm, so she can drop off her children to school and pick them up.
“I am now confident, I can be anything I want to, nothing is stopping me. I have support from my kids, they put their sister in bed, keep her busy while I am in my evening online class. Sometimes they ask me if I am going to go to university. You supported me and made me strong”.
“The SEE program and time in this class for more than one year with WCIG showed me the light and showed me the road to success and I will continue my learning journey.”
Throughout her learning journey Elsa gained confidence not only in herself as a learner but also in herself as a job ready community member, who is able to maintain her studying, work part-time to support her children, and also looking forward to improving her life quality through learning and exploring further education pathways in the future. The barriers she faced prior to joining the SEE program, have been faced and resolved by her positive approach to learning and her willingness to embrace learning and has become a role model not only to her children but also to her peers.
Once she finishes her Certificate III in Individual Support, Elsa would like to explore further education in Community Services sector, as she thinks there’s a great need there and she would like to contribute to improving lives of community members.