Growing up my mum struggled with her mental health, which meant that our early years were spent in and out of foster care. Part of Mum’s mental health condition meant that we were always moving; I went to 13 different schools and lived in about 50 properties. My mum never gave up on us though. She attended all the courses, counselling, everything she needed to do to get us back. She showed me that regardless of your circumstances, you keep going. I never forgot this; even though I dropped out of school at 14 and had my first child at 15, I never let the stereotypes define me. I didn’t have a lot of stability growing up, but I’m motivated to provide stability for my kids. The reason I am where I am today is because others saw something in me that I didn’t, so now I try to do the same for others. I am in my last year of my Bachelors degree at Manukau Institute of Technology, where I have been given huge opportunity in leadership development; giving me the ability to make a real difference in my community, where I work to help others like me.

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