2018 Year 12 graduate Jodane is something of a legend around NG Central. Why? Because she leaves a remarkable legacy behind her. Along with two other students, she was part of the first cohort to sit HSC exams in NGC’s history! Jodane’s resilience and determination has seen her succeed beyond what she previously thought possible and she attributes much of that to the support she found at NGC.
Jodane’s experience of mainstream education was fractured at best. She recalls getting into trouble on a daily basis, with suspensions and other disciplinary actions being a regular part of her life. Facing a lot of personal challenges outside of school, her attendance suffered and she found it hard to stay on top of her workload. This struggle saw her disengage from her learning, as well as staff and other students.
“I wasn’t coping with stuff going on outside of school, so I didn’t go a lot. But once you missed a day or had things going on at home, there wasn’t any help or any way to catch up. When it came to Year 11, I was discouraged from starting my prelim HSC. I guess it didn’t seem like there was a point in bothering. But then I had an interview with NGC and started the following Monday. It was the best thing I ever did."
Jodane found the classroom environment at NGC transformative. She thinks it was the intensive, additional support that made all the difference. Jodane felt like she was finally learning things that felt relevant to life beyond school and she began to engage much more as a result. Small group learning and individualised tuition with teachers saw Jodane improving in subjects she never thought she’d master. She says that Maths was definitely her most improved…something of an understatement, considering she went on to pass her HSC exam with flying colours! She also thrived in vocational training as she worked towards a Statement of Attainment in Horticulture.
“The work was always tailored to every student’s ability. You were still challenged according to what you could handle but nothing ever felt too hard to attempt and no one ever fell behind in what they were doing because we always had extra support. My favourite subject was Horticulture. I chose it because I’d always liked gardening and I thought it would be really practical, and give me a chance to be out in nature instead of the classroom.”
As she struggled with a mental health diagnosis and disruptions in her home life, Jodane also benefitted from NG Central’s wrap-around case management support. She regularly engaged with the on-site case workers, noting that they helped with everything from accompanying her to doctor appointments, to offering a listening ear when she needed it. At the start of Jodane’s HSC year, she faced some personal challenges that made attending school difficult. To assist her, NGC implemented a negotiated attendance plan, where Jodane completed a three-day week until she was able to reengage.
“That plan really helped me, it gave me a chance to cope without my education being affected. The staff and students were like a family, there was always someone to talk to and someone to step in and help me when they saw me stressed out. Whether it was a feed every morning, assisting with interview prep, paying fines or taking me to appointments, there was always support on offer. Becoming really good friends with my teachers is something I never thought I’d do and I’m proud of myself for that.”
Another proud moment for Jodane was sitting and passing her Maths and Primary Industries HSC exams. She says that she never even considered that she’d finish school, so to complete her HSC was a feat beyond any aspirations she’d previously had. And her fierce determination didn’t stop there. One week after graduating Year 12, she found full-time employment as a telemarketer and commuted to Sydney every day to make it happen.
Now she’s working in waitressing closer to home and is considering transitioning into further education and training in Social Work. We are so proud of her effort and can’t wait to see her excel in this next chapter!