I was in my last year of high school but not really into learning. Education was not a priority and school was a social event for me. Then I was given a part time cleaning job at an early childhood centre. When the manager of the centre saw me with the children she told me that she would clean and I could play with the children. She saw skills in me that I didn’t know I had. She encouraged/made me to go and do a family daycare certificate and she was my supervisor for it. When I finished school she gave me work in the centre while I finished my certificate. She then pushed me to do the Early Childhood degree. I didn’t even know what a degree was! I didn’t know where to start. She took me for my interview to apply for the degree. She supported me to work part time as I studied. I failed my first papers but I was too scared to tell her! Then I fell pregnant and became a single mother. She continued to help me so that I could both work and study. When I finally graduated she told me that she had stayed on the board at Auckland College of Education so that she could be on the stage when I graduated.
I worked my way from the cleaner of that centre, to supervisor and then the professional services manager. Today I am a part-time consultant to that same centre!