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Meet Natalia; Year 12 Student Spotlight

Since arriving at NGC last year, Natalia has gone from strength to strength. We have been so proud to see her take advantage of every opportunity that has come her way. As one of our Year 12 students, she models positivity, compassion and perseverance and can always be counted on to show support to her peers.

However, Natalia didn't always feel supported by those around her and she found it tough to thrive in a mainstream environment. She experienced intense bullying which took its toll on her self-esteem and caused her to increasingly disengage from school over a 2-year period. Natalia decided to give NGC a go on the advice of her older brother Jacob; NGC graduate and our 2020 school captain.

"School had been pretty traumatic and I stopped going for a long while. When NGC accepted me, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I was no longer staying at home feeling depressed. The one-on-one support in class is so helpful - now that I'm here, Maths just clicks with me. The way the teachers help you makes such a big difference; like my Science teacher, Janice, catching me up on any work if I've been sick or something."

Natalia chose Retail as her Year 11 and 12 VET subject because she wanted to learn more about beauty and salon skills. Working in our onsite salon, she has mastered eyebrow waxing and tinting, make-up application and haircare. She has also loved the opportunity to visit genuine workplaces, including participating in an eyelash tutorial with Make Up and More and a floral arrangement workshop with local boutique, Floral Anarchy. Natalia completed her structured work placement at a nursery-cafe in Charmhaven, where she experienced friendly staff and clientele and practised her barista, customer service and cash-handling skills.

Especially as she progresses through her final year, Natalia is taking advantage of the additional supports we make available at NGC. She is able to book a session with our counsellor when she needs it or have a casual chat with a member of our Student Enrichment Team.

Natalia also enjoys getting out and about with her friends, whether it's at the Easter Show, on Photography, Video and Digital Imaging shoots or out in the national park. This support system and ability to regularly 'take the pressure off' has put her in a great position to tackle her HSC; an achievement she once thought would be impossible for her.

Beyond that milestone, Natalia is excited to keep learning about all things beauty and ultimately wants to pursue Childcare as a career pathway.

"At NGC, you feel like you belong. The small size of the school just makes it way easier to approach people and make friends. Everyone is always willing to have a chat with you when you need it and even during the COVID lock-down, Lee T would send us inspirational quotes and check in with us. It's honestly a bit nerve-wracking to be thinking about the HSC but I know it's going to be a really proud moment when I finish and can celebrate with graduation and the formal. After school, I think I want to work in childcare. I really love kids and I think it's important to have care and passion when you're in that industry."

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